Three months ago, Bill made a joke on Facebook about looking to buy a house in the neighborhood where one of the good magnet schools is located.
Today, we're packing boxes.
How did this happen?
Turns out, there was a house for sale in that neighborhood. Bill scoped it out and tried to tell me that it looked nice. He picked up the flyer. I refused to look at it. Why? Because it was preposterous. It was too expensive, the sellers wanted to sell quickly, but mostly, there was the fact that we already HAD a house and we'd have to sell it, and we weren't going to sell it, duh. Haven't you heard that it's a crappy housing market? Who would choose to sell their house right now? Plus, we pretty much ust finished that kitchen renovation, didn't we?
Bill went out of town and while he was gone, I came home to find a business card stuck into the front door. "We love your house," it said in neat cursive across the back, "please contact us if you ever consider selling it."
My first instinct was to crumple that card up and throw it away. I can't show this to Bill, I thought, because he'll think this means we need to sell our house and buy that other one. But I didn't crumple it up-- instead, I stuck the card in my pocket.
Lying in bed that night, it occurred to me: maybe that card was a sign that we should sell our house and buy that other one. Except: expensive, too quick, impossible.
In the morning, I drove buy that other house. And liked it.
Bill came home, I confessed about that business card. We decided it wouldn't hurt anything to just go LOOK at the other house.
I was so nervous on the way over there. "Maybe they will just like us and want to sell to us. Maybe they'll like the kids," I said. I don't know that it played out that way exactly, but it is true that they wanted to sell to a family, wanted someone who would be raising children in that house.
We contacted a realtor, just to see what he said about whether he thought we'd possibly get enough for our house to put the new one within reach.
Three weeks later we listed our house. Three weeks of a flurry of drywall, paint, carpet, boxing up our belongings and hiding them in the basement. Until the house shone, tidy and comfortable. We signed a contract on the new house. Contingent on sale of the old house.
And then, we waited. We waited and waited, keeping everything tidy and shiny, put away, clean. It's harder than it should be, with two tiny girls going behind us every morning and pulling out toys, leaving handprints and forgetting to flush the toilet. Impossible.
Something told me it was going to work out. Despite the fact that other houses on our street were selling like hotcakes and showings had dried up at our place. But as the weeks wore one, I began to doubt.
Then: an impossible spot in the magnet school, opened up and available to us even though they told us it wouldn't happen this year. Based on the new address, of course. The new address that wasn't technically ours yet. And the same day, the same moment, in fact: another showing on the house. A second showing.
And then, eventually: an offer. And inspection, and appraisal, agreements, boxes, lawyers, movers.
It's a blur now, of logistics and signing papers and the need to pack it all up and leave this place where we built the foundation of our family. The place that we brought both girls home for the first time. The last place Luna lived. The place where we buried George.
This life, it has a pace that makes my head spin. But what is there to do but gear up and go, throw the stuff into boxes, explain it to the kids and hope for the best. Register for the new school, the new after-care program. Meet the new neighbors, walk to the new neighborhood park. Join the PTA.
Inspections on both houses happened this past week. The inspection of our current house illustrated to us that we have rocked this house. We fixed almost everything that as pointed out on the inspection report from when we brought the house (and that was not a short report.) And then, reading over the inspection report for the new house I had a sense of deja vu. It's nowhere near as significant as the report on this house was when we bought it, but then again: I'm not as naive this time. I had this feeling while I was reading it, like "here we go, starting all over again." And maybe we are, in a way. But you know what? It's going to be awesome.