Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Flying the Coop

We grew up differently. Isn’t that always the recipe for a balanced marriage? Matt grew up with a horse named Ranger Bill and could ride his BMX to the general store for a coke. I grew up in what can only be described as the ghetto of our town. One morning, in high school, I even woke up to gun shots. That being said Matt and I had a different sense of normal urban life. Our house is on the edge of downtown and our street can be a thorough fair of foot traffic. It really is a terrific place to walk but with the state workers and organic families we also get our share of, (oh how do I say this?) colorful individuals looking for their place in life? Or their home? Tobin is drawn to these people and would like nothing better than to invite them upstairs to play Thomas the train. This displeases me. And it makes Matt want to carry his AK 47 slug over his shoulder all the live long day. Although nothing I see as traumatic has occurred since we’ve dwelled here; we haven been living with the inconvenience of our urban life. Such as, once we awoke to a crackling sound and Matt told me he thought a transient was building himself a fire in-between our house and the church. I asked him if I should call the police and he says, "Becca, I am the police." Silly me. Anyway turns out this person had actually set the church on fire. So we have dealt with arson. My cousin’s car was stolen from the front of our house as was a ladder under our bedroom window and my sister’s shopping bags from her car. But for both of us it was one event that made us start looking at new house plans online. Late one night Matt went to wheel our garbage to the curb when he tripped over a passed out homeless man in our yard. Matt came back in the house and without saying anything to me calls his buddies on patrol to come get the guy.
In case you were thinking that my home might be the perfect home for you and now you wouldn’t even come over for a Mary Kay party.... it was just a teensy weensy fire and the drunk guy in my yard was unarmed and so probably couldn’t do much harm. Class A felon tops. So no biggie. Right????
Most husbands, like mine, is the protector of the home. Matt feels like he is on patrol 24/7. And even though I feel like I could ignore some of the offences our neighborhood has brought me, being a parent and like totally responsible for my children’s well-being....It’s got me thinking in a whole new way. It is impossible for me to let Tobin in our backyard without the reality that an evil world is just a ivy filled fence away. I too want to live in a place where my kids can play outside all day and come in when it gets dark. But I will miss this work of art we live in.
The most important thing is that my husband feels like he has a refuge when he comes home. And my kids don’t feel like their mom is breathing down their neck when they are getting fresh air and using their imagination outside. Rounded door and picture moldings are a far less important. But it’s taken me a while to get to this place. I had the vision that my kids would have the stability of one home all their lives. I thought we were there. But God has a new place for us. And after I am done saying goodby to these walls I will be so excited to show you what piece of heaven we will do the bulk of raising our family. Your comments were right-on. Your home isn’t lumber and oak trees, it’s where your family is.


Sharon said...

Well put, Becca. And your kids are still young enough that even moving now will give them the sense of having one home to grow up in. We moved when Gabby was just shy of 4 yrs., and she does remember fondly our first home and has good memories there, but this is her home that she'll remember well as her "growing up home."

I can't wait to see your floor plans and property! That is so exciting! Know any good builders? : )

And thanks for rescuing our church from the flames! Your time spent in that beautiful home fulfilled many purposes!

Julie said...

I, too am excited to see some plans for your new home! What an exciting time for you ... where will you stay while your home is being built?

We made a big move (kinda)when Brady and Emma were in 2/3 grade ... I fretted about it for nothing. They did just great, and it was moving to a whole new town. Your kids are going to LOVE their new home! And they're young enough that YOU get to choose who gets what bedroom! ;)

Jennyth said...

Is it strange that the fact that Tobin wants to hang out with the strange homeless guys warms my heart? I TOTALLY understand what you're saying, but what a sweet little guy to not notice the "differences". I think I was born a snob, I'm sure I would've turned up my nose at age 1...

Good parenting Becca!!

We have many a homeless man roam our Pasadena city neighborhood, but are blessed by gates, coded doors, and a 24/7 security guard that paroles Fuller. Guess I'm spoiled in the city, on some accounts.

Glad you're doing this, if only to give your man a full night's sleep without the weight of the crazy
world upon his shoulders. I think that speaks volumes that you are willing to leave your dream house behind for the sake of him. Way to be a good wife too. Rock On!!

Tiff said...

I have a plaque that says "Home is where your story starts." I think you can start new stories at any a new house in a new neighborhood (without the local transients lighting fires nearby and passing out in your yard). I agree that police husbands need a place where they can come home and turn off the cop as much as possible, to relax and enjoy their family without being "on patrol" all of the time. I can always tell when Mike is in "cop mode" - he gets a different look on his face. It is hard for them to do what is ingrained in them though. I can't wait to see the walls of your new home once you get there! You will have many blessings wherever you end up.

Joshua & Valerie said...

Okay. Have to tell you that I covered my mouth as I gasped at the thought of Matt tripping over that homeless guy. YIKES!!!

You have a beautiful house (from what I've seen from the outside and pics from the inside). And I think I know what you mean about envisioning the house you own as the house you'll have forever. My parents bought the house they currently live in several months before I was born. It was the house I was brought home to from the hospital. It was the house I spent my last night in as a single woman. Makayla? Well, on the day she turned four months old, she moved into her third dwelling since she was born! (Josh's grandparents' house for over a month, our apartment for less than three months, our house.)

Well, this will be a closing of one beautiful chapter in your life and the opening of what will be another wonderful one!

Hosmerita said...

I gather from Sharon's response to the open house that you will be moving out by us Southies. Does this mean that you might have room for a fellow Southie in your large regimine (sp?) of friends? I will walk to the mall with you if you need to, gather we will drive 15 min and park in a parking garage, get the stollers out of the back and THEN walk to Starbucks.
If you miss your old kitchen faucet come on over and see mine (I bought a similar one, actually Richard picked it out while I was gone, but it is pretty much the same one)
I have always believed that home is where the heart is. I do know that I too would live a bit worried about the extra visitors, and Richard... don't get me started. He would probably set a cot out on the front porch and ban me from ever letting the kids feel the sun on their skin.
We have some great parks out South that I would love to introduce you to.
Ava has already had 2 homes and will eventually have another in a few years. I will tell you coming from a girl that grew up in the smae house all my life I wouldn't be all that sad if my parents sold it. I used to admire my friends who got to move into fun new houses.
It will be a whole new adventure for the kiddos. They will have the opportunity to discover all new hiding places and all new favorite spots. Plus you know that Mr. Tobin will love to see the progress made by the builders of his new house. You should make him a mini foreman making sure everything is completed to Tobin's standards. I am sure that they too would appreciate some nice cold lemonade.
Well I have written enough for you to read. I do hope that your new proximity will aide in us becoming good friends.

Alida said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alida said...

I had to delete my comment because after posting it, I realized I spelled something wrong and it just made the whole comment not make any sense at all.

So, here we go...again.

I love children's innocence. I think it is so difficult sometimes to raise kids because, I'd like to raise mine to be kind and compassionate especially with those less fortunate, whether by choice or chance....but I don't want them bringing over strangers or the homeless either!

I'm so excited for you guys. Just think of all the beuatiful memories Tobin is already making. This is the house that he will remember being built. Awesome.

You know if you really wanted to host a Mary Kay party, I'll do it in any neighborhood you happen to live in!:)

Leslie said...

Thanks for the reminder about homes Becca. I needed that today, as Jason and I are planning and dreaming of many house projects around this old place. Perspective is always good for me in this area.

I am so excited for your move and to see your plans! Do you have your property already, or are you still looking? Acreage or no? One story or two? Do you have a home plan chosen already?

The more you write, the more questions I have!

Oh, and I guess I'll see you at Home Depot!

My name is Kari said...

I can relate! It has taken 6 months, but this house is starting to feel like home...I am confident that will happen for you too. God has a way of working out all of the details and surprising you along the way.

Angela said...

Funny I think I remember the gun shots in the old neighborhood.

AngieG said...

Your heart is in the right place and as you said, it took a while but isn't that just like God to give us the room we need to come around to some of His plans for us? I'm excited to see what is next for you all!

Atticus Finch said...

I am excited for you. We are in the process of selling our house (i think i have mentioned this) when we talk with the boys we always emphasize it is not about where we live or what we live in, it is that we live together. There are so many things I would be willing to give up to feel safe and warm at home. I know you and Matt will find the perfect place for your family. I would love to come and visit some time and look in those perfect cupboards.

Jenny vick said...

I loved this entry..and thank you for leaving a comment and letting me know that you have seen our postings too. So many times I think....Is anyone anyone reading this? I went through your blog and watched the video of Tobin at his preschool program. I've had many of those "what does this mean" conversations about our 4-year-old. I like to think of her as independant and strong willed....opportunist minded and eager to take risks. :) I can't count the number of times Makayla has gone to the front of the church, picked up a mic and decided that twinkle twinkle little star was appropriate! I loved seeing that My child wasn't the only one in the bunch who thinks they should have the spotlight on them the majoirty of the time :). Thanks for being vulnrable in your writing. Love it.
jenny vick

Anna Marie said...

Becca, I stopped in to check in and I found this wonderful post. I can completely identify with the outside fears. We live in a pretty safe neighborhood but we have no visibility to the backyard from the house. I know it's strange. I am not quite sure why we compromised this when we bought the house but we did. So, we unfortunately do not spend a lot of time out side. We are not sure how long we will be here. There is nothing quite like exploring the nature God created for us to enjoy! Not to mention a place for little kids to get their energy out. I am happy for you and Matt! lv anna

priscilla tilgner said...

so i can totally relate to the down town living situation. the foot traffic is the worst but we also have a very busy street in the front and a creek in the back. i myself won't ever be okay with the kiddos hanging out back alone and hanging in the front yard is completely out of the question. however it seems to meet our needs right now i love the inside and adam loves the outside but we both hate the location so someday we too will move and i will have great sadness i'm sure. good luck with everything its so cool you get to build your next home thats so totally exciting!

by the way thank you so much for your comments on my blogs they are always so inspirational and encouraging. i'm very grateful!