We love our street.
It currently has 18 kids, ranging from a little boy who is six days younger than X to a senior in high school. Our neighbor diagonally across the street is pregnant and due in January, so that'll make 19 (yes, even I can do that math!).
Drive up our street any afternoon (if you go too fast we will stand in the middle and stare you down) and you'll find a bunch of them riding Razors or bikes, or running around waving light sabers, or in a front yard playing soccer or baseball, or maybe in a driveway coloring with chalk.
Usually there are several parents hanging out, drinking an adult beverage (or, as one neighbor says, having a drink with "grownups" in it.) We don't have a problem neighbor on our street. Now, there might be those on our street who feel they have a big problem neighbor (namely us), but we can literally walk out the door and have a great conversation with everyone who lives here. And we all looks out for one another's kids.
The location is awesome. We're right across the street from a good elementary school, and close to the toll road and shopping. What's also nice is the houses are terraced so we're not right on top of each other. Our backyard is definitely pool-sized.
The problem? We've outgrown the inside, all 1560 square feet of our house. We have three bedrooms, and, as the old joke goes, they're so small you have to walk out to change your mind. Sawyer and X could eventually share a room, but it's not like they could each really have their own space. There's just not enough to go around.
The master bedroom barely contains our queen size bed and two dressers. The entire downstairs is really one big room, except for the extra small room which serves as David's office.
The "laundry room" is the garage. Need I say more?
We've considered renovating our house, adding a downstairs room and a bedroom, loft area and bathroom upstairs. I'm just not eager to deal with construction crews while trying to get X to nap.
We have started casually house hunting. We've seen a few, but nothing outstanding. It's been eye-opening, however, to see how small our house really is in comparison.
There is much to consider. Do we try to stay in the same general area so the kids can attend the same school Sawyer is at now? Do we stay in the town but move to a different section? Or do we figure this will be our last move and expand our search, especially to areas closer to the beach?
We dream of space. A playroom to contain the kids and all their toys. A loft with an area for them to do homework. A retreat in the master bedroom where I can curl up with a book and escape for awhile. A three-car garage so David can finally get either a project car or a zippy little number to cruise in.
Laundry UPstairs. Possibly a pool in the back yard.
Thing is, this house is jam-packed with memories. We bought it nine years ago and signed the closing papers while on vacation in Hawaii. We got engaged a few days later. It was supposed to be our home for five years max, but after we bought it, the housing market went through the roof and WE couldn't even have afforded to buy this house a few years ago, as it more than doubled in value.
The walls have more chocolate finger prints than I'd care to admit. The hardwood floors are grooved from the dogs running in and out and in and out of the back door. Dress-up clothes spill over the trunk and onto the floor of Sage's room; the closet is already full. Sawyer was suprised to learn he can now see into the top drawer of his dresser. He's getting bigger. X can crawl from one end to the other in less than 10 seconds.
It's our first home, where we brought our first baby from the hospital, where two others breathed their first breath. Our family has grown. The house has not.
Still, could we find such wonderful neighbors, or such a perfect spot for our kids to play? Will summer evenings find everyone outside, gathered in someone's driveway while the kids run and play until it's way past bedtime?
Maybe. We can hope.
We're not in a hurry, but if the right place were to come along..well, then we'd be ready to stuff another house full of life. We already have all we need to make a new house a home: each other.
Guess we'd just have to sit in our driveway and invite all our new neighbors along for the ride.
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