7 years ago…

….we started house shopping for the last time.

When I was born, we lived one place for 6 months, I’m told, then another place for about 4 years, then another place for about 5 years, then we were in an apartment for a month, a rental for a year and then we were at the longest home of my childhood, from 1982 through 1990… at which point my parents moved and I went off to college shortly after and between those moves and the vagaries of dorms and roommates and temporary accommodations and having a baby and becoming a single mother I ended up moving 17 times in 4 years. (I don’t even know if I can remember all of them, I counted once and remember the number–I counted a move as “dragged most or all of my shit from one place to another and slept there for more than 5 nights.” It’s the shit dragging that gets you down.)

That brings us to 1995, the year I got my first “on my own” place, just me and Kailea. She was 2 1/2. We lived in that place until she started first grade, at age 6, so 3 1/2 years.  It was  rathole of a townhouse (literal rats, worst part of town, had to call the cops a lot, got my car stolen, blah blah let me tell you the story about the people having sex on the front lawn some time…)

Then she got into an alternative program and we moved immediately to a townhouse about two short blocks from her school. That was Tyler, and we lived at Tyler until I married, in 2003. So pretty all but the last couple months of K’s elementary school years. 5 years there. We bought our first house.

4 years later we learned we would have to move again. The initiating factor ended up being a non-issue, but by that time the pressures to move were immense from other angles, and in 2007, we moved into The Uncommons. Seven years ago. Most of Shiny’s life. She’s nine. How is she nine? Hard to realize that my mother in law, who was the biggest factor in moving, has been gone for more than 5 years… and was only in this, the last place she ever lived, for about 20 months. Miles has always lived here. Miles will probably live here until he graduates high school, and for one of my children, the permanency I never had (and didn’t really, to be honest, miss–many of our moves I was very glad for) will be real. I fought tooth and nail (and succeeded) in keeping K with the same group of kids but had to move to do it. Miles… his home will be his constancy, and we may be more flexible with where he goes to school.

In another year, I will have officially lived here as long as I’ve ever lived in one place. It is not a flawless house, but it is ours, and I doubt we will ever move again.

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