But as I type this, my heart feels heavy and I have a knot in my stomach because...well, because there was a time when a freshly pregnant me and B walked into this house for the very first time, after two months of looking at every other house for sale in the area, and we just knew. We knew we had to make this one ours. We'd each finished grad school, we'd been married two years, were both well on our way in our careers, and had just found out
And when we walked into this house, we knew, this was it. We made an offer that night, and agonized for days over the offer-counter-offer-counter-counter-offer process until finally, finally, we got word that it would be our house. We were giddy. We knew just which room we'd turn into the nursery, and as soon as we found out Sammie B was a girl, we picked out the lavender paint.
And in all of that, there were assumptions. Naive, innocent assumptions. That our little girl would come home to this house, learn to walk here, and bound up the stairs after us. And well, those things haven't happened. So, while this was the perfect house for our little family, it just isn't now, but that's been hard to come to terms with. But we are. We've signed the papers, and this little house is going on the market. I cry when I think about it, in part because, I just can't stop flashing back to that first time we walked in. When we thought "this is it." Because now, it's not. And, I couldn't stop myself tonight from looking back at pictures from the day we found out that the sellers had accepted our offer. When we came back to take one last look -- a last look that just reaffirmed for us that this house was the one. When I stood out front with my tiny little baby belly and beamed because we were making it ours.
|May 2008, 4 months pregnant with Sammie B|
Except now, it's not the one anymore. It's not the house for our family.
We want our girl to have a home that she can navigate independently. One that is accessible to her and her gait trainer and whatever equipment she may ultimatlely need. And this house -- with its FOUR flights of stairs -- 32 steps in total -- is NOT that house.
On top of the emotional aspect of the desicion to sell, there's the practical side too . . . that the market still sucks, we don't know whether we'll ultimately be able to get what we owe, etc. We know we'll likely need to rent for awhile to save up for another down payment (we know we'll never get back what we paid down, which is devastating . . . we saved for so long to be able to buy this little townhouse just a few minutes from the beach). And, while I can't totally put it into words, somehow selling the house we were so proud to buy and having to rent while we save for a down payment again feels a bit like a failure. We were so, so proud to buy this one . . . it felt like we had "made it." The me that had been terrified we couldn't "make it" here when we moved from Missouri (where we paid only $750 for an apartment) to So-Cal (where our first apartment was less than half the size of that Missouri one for more than double the price) (and the me that knew many others thought we were crazy to make that move) has probably always felt like having this house was a sign that we had indeed "made it."
The weight - both the emotional weight and the weight of the financial worries, is heavy on me tonight. Suddenly, a year of paying for therapies that used to be provided by the state's early intervention program (until Sammie B aged out at 3) is hitting us harder than before. I feel like the bills never stop. It's all just cumulative I guess, and well, it sucks. It sucks to have two very decent incomes and yet feel so strapped. By something that is so very, very out of our control. Something that causes our girl -- our magical girl -- to have to work so damn hard at everything. Because that's the part of this that sucks the most -- that SHE has to work so hard. The rest -- the bills, the house -- I guess its just like rubbing a little salt in it all.
Sigh. Big Fat Sigh.
It'll be okay. Because life is about the memories made in a home, and not about the home itself. And we ARE making sweet, sweet memories. And, I truly, truly believe that a move might be a blessing in other, unexpected ways. Certainly if we can rent for less than our mortgage we can (perhaps) feel more freedom than we currently do, because lately . . . lately we are bogged down. We just are.
We aren't, in any way, giving up on our girl walking independently. That's not what this move is about. But the thing is, we know that right now Sammie B needs a home that is accessible to her. And right now, she's not walking independently. We need a home that is accessible. One where she can navigate using her gait trainer, or whatever adaptive equipment she ultimately needs. There's something about living in a house with so many stairs that makes it feel like we are just waiting for her to walk, waiting for this house to make sense for our family again. And life can't be about waiting. It has to be about living in the now. And so, right now, she needs a more accessible home. And because she needs it, we need it. Right now. Not when the market is better, which we know we might be able to wait for. The "waiting" sometimes gets in the way of living and right now, we know what we need to do. For her. And, for us.
As this journey goes, up and down. My heart has felt a constant up and down lately. The weight of bills, the weight of selling the house and all that that desicion feels like it represents. Heavy. But on the flipside, my girl is melting my heart day in and day out. She keeps lifting my heart up in a way that I so, so need right now (Friday night, I put her to bed and said, "I love you," to which she said, "I love you more, mama." and my heart melted in a puddle on the floor). She's magic. She deserves the world. The giggles from two little girls in the bathtub make my heart feel like singing, even on the toughest days. They make my world go 'round.
Sammie B deserves a home that is fully accessible to her. And so, we will get her just that.
Anything less than giving this girl the world is just not an option.
A few weeks ago, after we first sat down with our realtor to talk about putting the house up for sale, B and I looked at each other and said, "well this sucks." And, today, after a rough day and finalizing the "for sale" type of papers, B and I felt heavy.
And, then, after dinner, we put on some Bob Marley, Sam declared "It's a dance party!" and we popped her in her purple gait trainer (which, at this point, is perhaps more appropriately called an "assistive dancing device"), and we danced. And we sang. Because what else can you do?
Every little thing's gonna be alright. Isn't it?