When I was a little girl, we lived out in the country. Often times, we'd get a little opportunity to take a dip in a creek. My mom and dad would sometimes wake us up on a Saturday morning to head to Mississippi to visit Bill, a friend of my dad's from the Air Force or LSU or both, I can't quite remember. Anyway, on these day trips, my dad would spot a beautiful landscape and pull over. We'd pile out of ol' Bonnie and go exploring. Sometimes the location was an old abandoned home stake. Other times, we'd pick up tiny rocks from an ankle-deep riverbed. We always had a ball.
On Sunday, I got a chance to pass this memory on down the line to my kids. It made me so happy to wade in that creek with those girls. Miles found a nice flat piece of rock and quickly announced that she wanted to take it home and paint on it to remember that creek. She also launched into a full on sermon about how God made the creek, the rocks, the beautiful sunshine, all of it. God and Jesus are bigger than all of us and the whole universe, she explained.
We splashed around, watching the tiny minnow dash past our toes. Phillip got downright soaked when he slipped on a large rock and landed on his behind! Miles and Lola were adamant that they needed to take a bath in the creek and stripped down to their skivvies. It was freezing cold, mountain spring water, but they were in hog heaven.
So my question is why, with my children in hog heaven, did I find myself having my very own little pity party last night? Somehow, I managed to get caught up in the material things that I want versus the material things that I have. Granted, I am able to stay at home with my children and I have a reliable car. I can pay my bills and I have a sturdy roof over my head. I am involved in my community and help make a difference on a regular basis. However, I found myself dwelling on the fact that the things that I have at 33 are not as nice as the things that I had at 25.
At 25, my husband and I were just married. We bought a two story house on a big lot and I drove a newish Volvo wagon. We traveled on the regular and we had money for things that we wanted. Unfortunately, my neighbors were not ideal, and in 2006, we decided to sell our house. We bought a townhouse to live in with the hopes that we would be able to keep it as an investment property when we built a new house the following year.
As life usually does about this time, we caught a curve ball or three! The market fell out from under everyone, the economy tanked and our ability to build that dream house plummeted from reality...fast, unless we wanted to take the chance of spending a bunch of money with a scary trend in employment. Time slipped away, and before we knew it, we've now been stuck in this townhouse for over two years. Sometimes I feel like I'm in a cave or a dungeon. My husband loves that fact that all of the outside maintenance is taken care of. It isn't tiny. It is convenient to shopping and an outstanding city park.
But it isn't my old house, and my Vibe, well it doesn't quite ride like that Volvo did. I don't have an over-sized seat to envelop me. I don't have a larger house with plenty of closets and a two car garage and a luscious, green lawn. So I dwell. I dwell on the fact that I've found beautiful, high-end houses that are 3000 square feet and in a nice neighborhood with a pool for $220,000. I dwell on the way the people respected me on the road a heck of a lot more in that tank versus my current wagon. I dwell on the way we used to have parties or cookouts regularly, but now, I don't have room and my house can't stay clean enough for hosting friends due to lack of storage space (and two little helpers). Plain and simple, I loved it at first; after two years and 5 months, I'm over it.
Admittedly, we've had a few unfair events since 2006. An insurance snafu cost us $4000 out of pocket when Lola was born. Our buyers for our house insisted that we move out two days before closing, so we paid movers $1300 to move us. The buyers then backed out three hours before closing, so we also paid for two homes for six months. Our final sales price profited us only 1/3 of the original selling price six months earlier. Some units here have gone into foreclosure, and there are currently two units for sale at less than $90,000. That's a huge loss for us. We can't compete with those already for sale at that price. Thus we're stuck. Stuck in this cave, in my own personal dungeon.
The pity party finally came to an end later last night and I reminded myself that I do have Miles and I do have Lola and I do have Phillip. I have a partner that was absolutely made for me. My children look like us, they act like us, they make us laugh to no end. They're both smart and artsy. I am very blessed. I would love to have a new house again, but right now, I get to stay at home with my kids and mold who they will be. If at five and three years old, they already show polite, smart and artistic characteristics, I must be doing something very, very right. I think I'll keep things the way they are for now.
Just for clarification, though, I won't turn down a bonus room, or a third row seating SUV, if you have one to give me!