February 9, 2006
Parental Advisory: If you are going to watch Caillou, be prepared for the consequences!
For those of you who have been my blogfriends for a while now, you know that last year L and I bought a lot in our old subdivision and put our house on the market with the intention of building a new one. A little later in the year, we sold our house and bought this house, which is not in our old subdivision. It is in a neighborhood, but really it is in the country with a neighborhood feel. It's just a cul-de-sac, set in the middle of some farmland.

So we moved here, because it was easier than building, and then we put our lot up for sale. To date, we've had two contracts fall through the week before closing on the lot, so we are still the owners. Did I mention that it is the last good lot left?

I guess I should give you some background on our old subdivision. It is one of those "master- planned communities," with lots of parks and lakes and fountains and a playground and swimming pool and even a baseball diamond. And since we moved, there is a new grocery store in it. Kind of like Disneyworld goes to suburbia, right? Oh, and it has 3 schools. The elementary school is actually in the middle of the neighborhood, so kids actually walk to school. That's very uncommon here in Arkansas for those of you who don't know. The middle school and high school are just across the street from the neighborhood. So theoretically, if we lived there, Hatchling could always walk or ride a bike to school, until he graduates! (with mommy following just close enough to maintain his aura of cool, of course!)

But we moved here. L likes it better. Not because he is a wretched, wicked man, but because he always wanted a couple of acres in the country, a place to build a shop and maybe work on a boat. He couldn't do that in our old neighborhood. I know that and I feel terrible for wanting to move back.

I want my lot. I want to build the house plan we had picked out, which is actually a little smaller than this house. But, it had a guest bedroom, which by default becomes Slush's domain to sew and paint and scrapbook and store her loads of stuff she doesn't know what to do with. Also, I like the bonus room on it better. Our is one of those with the weird sloped ceilings. The plan we were going with had a normal bonus room with normal ceiling heights. I like that. And it had a coat closet! Can you believe that I live in a 3000 square foot house with NO COAT CLOSET? What kind of moron designed that? And my laundry room, in the house we didn't build, it was going to have cubbies for everyone's stuff! Cubbies! To hold the gym bags and the keys and the purses that are constantly strewn about on top of my washer and dryer and drive me crazy! Can you imagine the nirvana of laundry room cubbies?

I've been feeling mournful about the house we didn't build for a while now. Then yesterday, Hatchling asked to watch Caillou. We did. In the episode we watched, C's daddy takes him to the park and they sail a little boat across the pond and it is just so lovely. And then I started crying. Poor Hatchling.... he wasn't quite sure what to do with a weeping mommy. See, I had always imagined L doing that with Hatchling in our old neighborhood. I thought we would all walk down together, and then the boys would play with their boat and mommy would sit happily by, reading a book on a bench under a beautiful arbor of some flower I am not capable of growing in my own yard. But then we moved here. And I have no visions of Hatchling's childhood here. Just a big, sterile yard, and lots of grass for L to mow. No place to walk, no store to ride our bikes to. Nothing.

And I know, I'm truly blessed. I have a loving husband, a wonderful son I get to stay home with, an awesome house, plenty of food, heat, clothes, salvation. You name it, I've got it. But I'm not content. I want my smaller house, in my neighborhood. Because I am a selfish wretch. That's pretty much what it boils down to. Poor L. Imagine trying to make financial decisions for your family with someone like me on board.

So here's what I think we are going to do. We have decided the minimum price we would accept for our lot. We are also going to put this house on the market. Whichever one sells first, we'll take it as a sign. And if the lot sells and I'm destined to stay here, I will just have to get happy about it. If the lot does sell, it will go a long ways towards financing our adoption, so how could I be sad about that?

We are loathe to do this. This is our 4th house in 5 years of marriage. All the other moves were good financial investments, but we've taken a lot of ribbing from friends and family about it. When I told my mom what we were thinking about doing, she exclaimed that she didn't know what was wrong with me. I don't know either. My sister at least, was very encouraging. She thinks maybe if I feel this way that this is not where God wanted us. I've been wondering about that too.

See, we bought this house, and the people we bought it from bought ours. They immediately put it on the market and sold it THREE DAYS LATER. To someone who was leaving in a week to pick up their adopted child in Russia. I've been wondering if they were supposed to buy the house from us, and that was supposed to get us thinking about adoption, and that was supposed to get us making different financial decisions.

And no matter what we do, I will feel guilty. I am guilty because I have so much, while others do not. I'm guilty for not living in a 1500 square foot house and giving away loads of stuff and money to people who need it more than I do. Ok, we don't have loads of money or stuff, but I could certainly give more if we lived in a smaller place. I am guilty because I'm not content, when in fact I have it so good. I'm guilty that I would ever want more, or something different, because I have it so good. I'm guilty because right now, I'm pretty hard to be married to. I'm guilty because I'm not as good of a mommy as Caillou's mommy. Does she ever lose her cool? I'm guilty because you had to read all the way to here to realize that I am an ungrateful wretch who has it pretty good. Or maybe you realized that already, in which case, why are you still reading?

And now, I'm emotionally spent. And guilty...
Blogger Angi said...
Remember that our plans aren't always His plans. It'll work out the way it is supposed to.

I'm in a rough spot with my house and my discontent right now too and you really got me thinking. I needed that. Thanx.

Blogger Carbon said...
I don't know what it is with us woman but I'm the same way. The house we bought wasn't my pick nor is it my dream house. We've done so much to it to make it feel ours but there is still that part of me that will never be 100% happy. It's cuz I too had some sort of dream of how I wanted my home and how to raise my children in it. I feel guilty for making my hubby feel that way too. Oh well and phooey on us :) That's what a girl has got to do.

Blogger Newlywed said...
I only WISH I could be in that "difficult" position. I'm sure if I had as much as you do, I'd still want more. But, really, think of me when you feel sorry for yourself....there is more than a little possibility that at the end of May, I will be moving all of my stuff to STORAGE (from my lovely cramped 710 sq. foot apartment) to stay indefinitely who knows where. My husband may not know until as late as September where we will be living. And, I'm talking STATE, not city. I tell myself that if only I knew the state, I would care very little as to which piece of suburbia we land in. So, we've just endured a year apart,(thanks Uncle Sam), will have three more months until school is out, then could be apart again for up to another year?!?! At least you are together. At least you have a home. At least you don't have to work. I'm jealous of you. YOU are my Caillou. But, I love you. :)

Anonymous kassi said...
Pray about it. You will go around in circles trying to fix whatever it is that is making you unhappy...only He has the answer, and He will provide it in his own time. It will work out, He has it all under control. Just trust. love to you and yours.

Blogger lawyerchik said...
You know, of course, that Caillou's mommy has the benefit of scriptwriters..... If we all had good scriptwriters, life as we know it would, truly, mimic television's best!! ;) Cut yourself some slack, Slush!! :)

Blogger Katrina said...
First, shake off all that guilt! Being a mommy and wife and woman is loaded with enough guilt as it is without piling extra on yourself!

Then, like Kassi said, start praying. You've already made up your mind what to do, so leave the selling in God's hands and see what happens.

Don't feel bad for having a lot. A lot or a little in this world doesn't really matter--just gratitude for whatever you DO have, and I can tell you have that in spades!

We women--we nest, don't we? I can identify with your wanting to have your home just the way you like it. I daydream about my perfect house all the time, and design floor plan after floor plan in my mind--I have to keep reminding myself that we're in this apartment so that I can afford stay home with our kids. And I know some women can't afford to make that choice, even WITH cutting back and living in a cheaper place.

So don't feel bad about being blessed, because I know that you are a blessing to others in your turn.

(And I happen to know that Caillou's mommy, the moment the cameras are off, loses her cool and hides in the bathroom to escape the gazillion questions Caillou's always asking.)

Blogger auntdaisy said...
Slush - God has a plan for each of us, in HIS time not ours, maybe He needed for you to see that it's not how big a house is but how much heart is in a home...You and L have such big hearts that you could live in a 900 sq home and still have enough love for all of Texas...don't feel guilty, just listen to what God is telling you..He won't lead you astray...