We traded space and country roads and dark evening skies for the convenience of city living...
We bought our house with the intention of living here for 3-5 years, making some changes (and building some equity) and then move out to our dream home. I remember when we toured the house thinking maybe, just maybe, we could have one baby here, then we'd have to leave. We moved in as a couple of about 3 years, and will one day leave as a happily married couple with at least one baby, and hopefully another on the way... (Hopefully).
Over the five years we've lived here, we've replaced all of the electricity (we had knob and tube wiring throughout), we've dug out and finished our basement and added another bathroom. We tore out our 1950s kitchen (complete with gold-flecked countertops), and most recently I renovated our main bathroom. And yes, I do owe you photos of my bathroom renovation, but I'm awaiting the arrival of the shower curtain I ordered on Etsy before I show you the final shots... It's come though, hopefully. ;)
Our plan, once we found out our family would be expanding to accommodate baby Jack, was to stay put until the fall and then look to relocate out of Toronto. It would all suddenly be worth it- commuting would be worth it when we had a little man to come home to in the evenings. We would need more space for all his things and stuff. We wanted somewhere he could run around, and stretch his legs. Mostly we wanted to live near my parents so our daycare would be, um, free.
|stock photo, to show you what a couple outside of a house looks like.. ha|
My parents live on about 3/4 of an acre of land in the country. For years now they've debated buying a lawn tractor in lieu of the push mower they currently have. Our next door neighbour growing up was named Jack, and he had the patience of a saint. We four children would line up for our turn to sit upon his knee as he went up and down his garden. In retrospect, it's apparent we were easily entertained, but my goodness did we love it at the time. My mother is notoriously cheap, so she always talked my dad out of buying on, reasoning he was getting much needed exercise by walking. This year, for Christmas, mom gave dad the tractor he's always wanted. She cried as she told him he was only getting it now so Jack could sit upon my Dad's knee and have tractor rides, too.
I remember when we were in the NICU, promising Jack that if he were to pull through we'd buy him a doggie. We promised him cars when he was old enough to drive. We promised him a big yard, with a pool where he could learn to swim. We promised him no curfews, that anything he could ever want would be his. We would have, too. Anything.
Without Jack here, we have no reason to relocate. We talk about it a lot. We look a lot. But it's not worth it just yet... It's not worth commuting to the country and a pool and a dog if there's no one there to make it worthwhile. We find houses online all the time, and I visually move into them. I think about how I might decorate it, where I'd place furniture, pictures, which stools to buy for the island bar in the kitchen. I think about children's rooms and what it might be like to hear the laughter of our future children ringing throughout the halls. I dream of a craft room full of washable paints, and crayons and paper, of well-read books strewn about the floor. I think about how I'd like to have two kids share a bedroom with matching double beds, falling asleep while telling ghost stories.
|Our current dream house|
But then we wait. We wait because I'm terrified of making a big change in our lives which may come back to bite me in the ass. What if we buy a house with the intention of filling it with children, and we never can? What then? How would I feel about our dream house if I couldn't fill it with my dreams? We make vague promises to look into it more seriously when I become pregnant, and one by one these houses sell and another family moves into them and lives these lives... I wonder whether they know anything of this life I've led... Whether they are newlyweds with the hopes and aspirations of filling the rooms with kids, too? Why do they get to be so happy and never worry about this stuff which now permeates my dreams?
|Don't worry, looks like our stock couple from before DO have kids... Thank goodness!|
It's so hard letting go of so many dreams for the "right now". Just as I know I have to let go of my desire to "control" everything when it comes to trying to conceive our next baby, I know I just need to sit back and let things happen. There are a million houses out there, each one offering a version of what our life may be like one day. One day, when the time comes and we're ready, the right house will be there. A house which can offer us something to look forward to again, somewhere to tuck our baby in at night... The promise of happier tomorrows.
For now, these houses are a glimpse at a life that should have been, but never was able to. All these dreams for him, all these things we wanted to give to him.. Perhaps in another life. Perhaps for his brothers and sisters.
Damn I miss him.