I grew up in Seattle my entire life. I never moved away for college, but attended the University of Washington, a thirty minute bus ride from my house. I’ve kept many of my relationships and friendships for years and years, which might be why I’m not one to quickly make new friends, and also not one to quickly burn proverbial bridges when the going gets tough.
My husband and recently ran the numbers for what it would cost to move into a bigger “family” house in this neighborhood. *Gulp* In all likelihood, making some assumptions, we’d need to stay in our two bedroom townhome another four to five years before the finances worked out into our favor. So, unless one of us gets an unexpected chunk of money from somewhere (and yes, I’ve heard the advice that “Elise should write a bestseller” about a dozen times already), we’ll be in this place a fair bit longer. A lot longer.
I’ve been subjecting our house to organizing spurts recently, wracking my brain for better solutions to messy and half-hearted arrangements. And I feel powerful every time I conquer a few square feet of clutter. But am I content to stay? It’s going to get tighter if we have another baby. It’s going to get crazy as George is almost walking and will undoubtedly want to run over anything his feet can touch.
Am I content to stay? It feels like a deeper question. Staying and working with what we have is much harder than starting fresh, isn’t it? I know there are countless families all over the world who never leave their homes of birth, who stay in the same city their whole lives. There’s no shame in it.
I didn’t realize what an anchoring effect it is to give birth to a baby. He loves to stay. George loves the familiarity of his house. He doesn’t like sleeping somewhere new and different. When we unload him from the car and carry him past our neighbor’s yard, George barks at the fence because he’s used to hearing the neighbor’s dogs bark at him. He draws comfort from knowing where his home is, day after day.
It’s hard to wrap my mind around what our life will look like as we stay. I’d like to think it makes us a faithful, reliable refuge for friends and family as other friends move away for school or jobs or simply where they feel they need to be.
As for me, I’ll be right here where you left me.