At the end of June, Aaron and I were deep in discussion about whether or not to renew the lease of our current apartment. The reasons to stay were numerous.
In a great neighborhood.
We’re happy here.
We don’t have to move.
The reasons to move were there, though not quite as compelling. Specifically, it’s small here. Small, but the space works for the three of us.
With pens in hand, and a lease extension before us, Aaron looked at me and said, “This is going to be fine, just so long as you’re not pregnant right now.”
“I’m not pregnant,” I said filled with animosity, “I know my body. I would know if I was pregnant.”
We signed the lease, sealed it up, and sent it off. Ready to stay in our little courtyard place until April 30, 2011.
Two days later, while two very good friends were visiting, I barfed. I knew. I took a test. I skipped to the park to share the news and admit that I had been wrong.
Ever since we’ve been doing a lot of thinking and a little scrambling. Do we stay, do we go?
It didn’t take long to decide that it would be best to sublet our place and hit the road. While we could definitely make this place work with a family of four, I really didn’t want to imagine packing and moving with a family of four. Putting Ewan through two major transitions, a new sibling and a new home, in such a short span of time.
It seemed best, despite the first trimester fatigue, to go ahead and get this done now, while I have some energy and some ability to focus on logistics.
That left the next question. Where do we go?
We live in Ravenswood right now. Within a block there are cafes and restaurants and bars. Down the street there is a little play park. The brown line is less than two blocks away, so the whole city is at our doorstep. It’s a perfect place, and a perfect location. But….
Truth is, it can be a little lonely here. While there are some families in the neighborhood, the majority of residents are young professionals. The play park down the street, well, it’s usually just us. This neighborhood is fun. It is hip-happening, but maybe we aren’t anymore. Or, at least, with a family of four, we won’t be. A change of venue seemed like it may be in order.
We’ve visited the Ravenswood Manor neighborhood before and have always, even pre-kids, been charmed. It has tree-lined streets and amazingly gorgeous old brick bungalows. Filled with one-way roads, angled streets, and the river running through it all, it’s an easy neighborhood to wander and get lost in. With a handful of busy little play parks to boot, it seemed like it might just fit the bill.
We spent the last weekend hunting and looking and wandering and exploring and, eventually, deciding that yes! this is the neighborhood. Even though that decision, by itself, caused a bit of an identity crisis.
Are we those people now?
Are we grown-ups now?
Are we the ones leaving the hip urban neighborhood for a smaller, quieter community (still very much in the city) to raise our family?
I guess, we are. While I still struggle with it. While I still struggle with the fact that I might, in fact, be a grown-up, I think it’s the right choice. And heck, at least we’re not fleeing for the suburbs. So, we still have a scrap of dignity to hang on to. 🙂
We’ll be in a new place starting at the beginning of September. It is the second floor of a two-flat with more space than we’ve ever really had or imagined. A two-bedroom with an enormous living room, dining room, separate sunroom, big kitchen (with a dishwasher!), our own laundry, and a backyard. So large that much of it will remain unfurnished, for awhile.
Indeed, this is a space where our little family will have room to grow, stretch, and run about. And when we tire of the inside, the neighborhood has lots to explore. Parks. Nearby bike trails. Cute little old-timey coffee shops.
So, now we must pack. It is arduous and not something I’m looking forward to but I know, this time next month, we’ll be settled into our new home and getting used to all it has to offer. This time next month moving will be done.