When neighbors in Brooklyn asked where we were moving, “New Jersey” didn’t come as much of a surprise. What did get a response was that we didn’t buy our own house; we moved in with John’s family.
The overwhelming response to that bit of information was that it was wonderful, good for everyone involved. I wholeheartedly agree. There will be challenges for all of us at different points, but this is the right next step. I kind of thought I’d be sadder about leaving Brooklyn. I have enough peace about the move that I’m really only looking forward.
When I think about it, most of my perspective on this move came from a week I spent in Belize City, Belize something like six and a half years ago. I was on an international immersion program. My group was signed up to build a simple 16-foot-by-16-foot wooden home for a family in need, through Hand in Hand Ministries.
Needless to say, it was humbling to see the size of the house the family we were building for would live in. As I recall, the family consisted of a grandmother named Louise (just like my mom), a man I think was her husband/the grandfather, and an adorable little girl named Shania. There might have been more family members who would come and go, but these three were around for the week.
I think it was Wednesday when we got held up, owing to a local shortage of lumber. Thursday, things got worse: we learned that our family did not legally own the plot of land we were building on. An old verbal agreement had run its course, and they did not have permission to construct something permanent where we’d already begun. We ended up loading what we had built onto a trailer and bringing it across town to the next family on the list. We didn’t have any other choice.
I was not a crier back then (before the kiddos), but that was enough for even me to break down. I look around myself now, and I can be nothing but grateful for the home I have. Is it entirely my own? No, but nothing is. Is this where I thought I’d be when we got married four years (and four homes) ago? No, but what I thought is not always what’s best.
If I’ve learned anything from motherhood, it’s that what I have—my time, my love, our couch—is not just for me. I am not just for me. I am here to be part of a community, a family.
Making the decision to move took something like thirty seconds. We knew it was the right thing. We knew it would be hard. We knew a whole lot of wonderful things would come from it.
So here we are. In the suburbs. No longer New Yorkers. Onto something new. And as far as I’m concerned, we’re exactly where we need to be.