We were already looking for a change when my family decided to sell our home and conquer my son’s peanut allergy by my husband moving in with his mom and me moving the kids and dog up to Utah for our son’s oral immunotherapy. None of us knew what that meant yet, but we knew that the treatment would provide us a freedom when we were done we had not had before.
We could move without regard to finding an allergy-friendly school, for starters. We wouldn’t have a house anymore so moving to a new state wouldn’t be so difficult either.
What we chose to do was move to our favorite neighborhood in our same town, but downsize in home and especially yard. As a man, this was hard for my husband. In his eyes, it was telling people he wasn’t a good provider and couldn’t afford more. On one hand, I was happy to rid ourselves of the space to store clutter but on the other, I, too, had some prideful moments. Now, 8 months later, I have clarified my perspective…and I’m excited.
I love my house. I freaking LOVE my house. We have a front porch (which isn’t easy to come by in Arizona) for our morning coffee and we have a tiny-but-we’re-making-it-pretty-backyard for drinks after the kids go to bed. We have 4 bedrooms despite the fact that only 1 or 2 get used for sleep. We have room to office from home. Our kitchen is homey and has a huge island that I can’t wait to use to cut out Christmas cookies with the kids next month. We’ve added a faux fireplace for character and a brick wall behind our tv. We installed a tile backsplash in the kitchen and hardware on the cabinets. Stairs give me a place to wind garland during the holidays. Our neighborhood is filled with grass and trees (again, not an easy feat in Arizona) and there is always some planned activity going on, whether it be hayrides and bounce houses or bunco and wine with the mom’s group. It’s not just the house, it’s the community.
I didn’t unpack for months because the weather was amazing when we got home from Utah and there were too many parks to inspect, walks to take and activities to participate in. This house is helping me to stay true to what I said I wanted: a life filled with love and memories, not things. I’m not saying the house is perfect. I’m saying the house is perfect for what we need as a family right now. One day, we may move. If we do, it will be because an opportunity presents itself in another state, or we just really want a larger yard with a pool and in that case, we will move within the neighborhood. Gone are the days to move for the sake of moving, though. It’s wasteful of our time, energy and especially our money.
I am content here. I’m working on personal development here. I’ve gained insight here. I think it’s ok to not have the biggest, the best, the very most you can afford. I think it’s ok to not be able to afford what you want, too. We need to know it’s ok to be uncomfortable. That’s how we grow. Did you hear that? It is OK to be uncomfortable. I work on that with my kids but as adults, we need the lesson most of all, especially if we have been used to getting things our way for awhile.
We have so very many blessings in our lives and sometimes you need to be stripped down bare to realize it. A little over a year ago, we left the life we thought we wanted in order to give my son the life he deserved, because a child deserves to feel safe. A child shouldn’t worry about dying from a bite of the wrong food and we found a way to stop that worry. So we did. Not for a second have I lamented about what we gave up because I got my confident, sweet, HAPPY child back and in the process, what really mattered became extremely clear. My wish for you is that your clarity is not found by tragedy, but by looking at the world through the eyes of a child, where love and time are the keys to happiness.