My two close friends from college were here with their kids this morning. Three of us, six children. We looked at each other: strapped into Baby Bjorns, wiping spit up off the floor, mixing pureed peas into rice cereal, singing along to the children's CD in the Hello Kitty CD player because of course we all know the words. SIX KIDS. We could hardly believe it.
I policed a table full of Easter egg coloring supplies and grabby toddler hands while my friends looked after the babies. I fed the toddlers lunch while one friend nursed her 3-month-old and the other friend held her baby and mine. I gave Molly her bottle while one friend picked up toys and another friend read the toddlers a story. I filled up the toddlers' watering cans and let them go wild in the still-not-filled garden box while one friend packed up her car and the other friend changed her baby upstairs. People think I'm joking when I introduce my friend's daughter as "Jack's future prom date" but I'm totally not. I don't know, maybe she'll be into football players and Jack will be a hapless band nerd, but I have every intention of being around when this girl is sixteen and arguing with her mom over prom dresses.
And I have other mom friends- from church, from school, from friends of friends. They're all local. They're all people I can call up and say, "What do you think about going to the zoo this morning?" or "Please please please let me come over, the children are making me insane and there's still two hours before Phillip gets home."
And this is why I do not want to leave the city. Phillip and talk about The Next House all the time- sometimes obsessively, sometimes sporadically. Before this whole Dire Economy thing we felt hopeless about finding a house - a real house, with a yard and enough space so that a baby is not sleeping in our closet- we can afford in the city. Seattle isn't San Francisco or anything, but it's still got some pretty shocking and exorbitant house prices. And now that we're in the middle of this Dire Economy thing, we worry about whether we'll be able to sell the house we have NOW, so that we can afford half of a real house's garage in a neighborhood five minutes away.
We want to stay close to our parish and the friends we've had since we were living in the dorms. I want to be able to walk to a store or a park or a library or a lake. I don't want to move north, farther away from our families, and I'm afraid to move south, since that means moving away from my mom friend network, away from our church family, away from Phillip's work and the ability to get places without driving. Away from my place to be from.
We think about it, even though we have no intention of moving any time soon, especially if Phillip starts grad school in the fall. (Which is still a big IF which is why I haven't really mentioned it, much less thought about how it will impact my daily life and GAH THAT'S ANOTHER POST.) The soonest we've talked about moving is two and a half years from now and that's a ways away. No need to be bummed about it now.
Except that we often are. And when I told Phillip about the Novena of Impossible Requests a few weeks ago (because why not fail aNOTHER spiritual commitment!) Phillip suggested we pray for a house. In Seattle.
So we are. I should tell you that our other Impossible Requests are of a more holy variety, and to be honest I have no idea why I'm telling you that we are praying for a house (see above: FAIL). Except that I believe prayers are occasionally answered, even stupid not-holy ones, and maybe one day I can write on this website (because you KNOW I'll still have it) that we are moving ten minutes away, to a house with a yard and a third bedroom and a living room big enough for a Christmas party.