Things are afoot out this way. Where do I begin?
I think--I hope--that later this week I'll be signing a contract to begin building a new house. A new Home. I won't be able to say this for certain until I talk with the Money People this week, but I've found a place about a 1/2 mile from here, and it feels right. The Ex has agreed to buy this house, the house we once owned together. He's already put a lot of work into it, designed the landscape, put in the sprinkler system himself, had the garage and basement finished to his specifications. He's been searching for a house for the past year, but everything comes up short. Too much money, or not the right design, or something. A few weeks ago, he said, "I wish I could find a house like this one." So I said to him, "Why not this one? Buy it from me."
And me? Why would I want to move? The new place will cost me the same as this one does, but it will have two advantages: So far, it looks as though the neighborhood it's in will stay zoned to the Boy's current school, preventing the dreaded Changing of Schools. And, the layout will allow me to section off part of the house as an apartment for my mother.
How do I tell you about my mother and me? We are so different and yet so alike. We give each other shit constantly, but I have never for one hour doubted that my mother loves me or supports me. Even when we disagree, we respect each other. And one of the primary concerns in my life over the past several years has been her financial well-being. She lives about 7 hours away, and financially, she's not in such great shape. Combining our living spaces will allow her to retire in a few years (she's 70), something she won't otherwise be able to do. This town offers many more opportunities for activity, work, and community than the place she lives. She misses the kids and me.
It's so strange. For so much of my life, I fought tooth and nail not to end up like my mother. I loved her fiercely, but I saw her misery and I didn't want it. A single, older mother (she was only 32 when she had me, but in the '60s, that was quite old for a first-time mother), she made poor choices when it came to men. She and I lived with my grandparents until she remarried when I was 8. She didn't know how to stand up for herself, she didn't particularly like herself, and she was so sad. I hated her sadness. It enraged me. Now I find myself a single mother in my late 30s, fighting that same sadness. But the thought of being in that extended family again is somehow comforting, even while being a bit frightening. I loved living in the same home with my grandmother. I loved feeling a part of something larger. I hope my children will feel the same. Our family hasn't turned out at all as I'd hoped it would, but it still has love at its center, and I hope that will be enough, especially for the Boy. I do love him so.