Now where were we? Oh right, basically nowhere. Or everywhere. I guess it depends on how you're looking at it, and what it means when you are considering 20+ houses with no concrete or obvious direction.
Let me back up a second and tell you that our suburb is divided into FIVE different grade school territories. This is significant, because up until this point, SCHOOL DISTRICT was the driving force behind all decisions; which, in retrospect is really dumb, because this whole exercise in moving was to figure out what works for our family, and doing so means being open to CHANGE. Except that we changed G's school this year, and so I was thinking we had already checked that box. I was wrong. Life is not a series of boxes, apparently.
Now. From the very start of this eight-month ordeal, I was told by *people* that once our kids began their grade school career at our particular school (let's call it Hogwarts), we'd be able to STAY there, so long as we were still living in our particular suburb, or school district. They would bend the rules and let you stay, mostly because "Hogwarts" isn't busting at the seams with kids, and therefore it's not so big of a deal to choose one school over another in our district--except that I'm beginning to learn that everything about suburban education is a big f-ing deal, so whatever. This was me all young and naive and believing the playground banter. And it seemed like a bible truth to me, because half of the families that I know up at our school don't live in it's particular territory, but as I was about to learn, opinions expressed during afternoon pick up are not always RIGHT.
As I was informed, when I approached the principle, who told me I needed to write a letter to the District Superintendent and request to stay. Ultimately, the superintendent would decide, but Big J & L's class is on the smaller side, and therefore has three very full classrooms--and "Hogwarts" wants to add another class (and teacher), so if our kids leave the school, then that might solve the Superintendent's problem of having to pay for another salary. You see how that happened? It just got political. It's like the Komen Foundation/ Planned Parenthood debate--EVERYTHING is freaking political, people. It's the nature of society, and to say it isn't is ri-donk-ulous. I'm not going to change that without creating another whole sub-species of humans that can exist without opinions--and I am WAY too tired for that crap, because who has time to clone while MOVING???
But it's even MORE complicated, because we hadn't ACTUALLY found a house yet. So I didn't even have a new address to reference, when begging the superintendent to please, please, PLEASE let my kids stay at Hogwarts. I have 20+ possibilities and an active imagination for placing orange tables within them--but I was seriously doubting that was gonna fly as school-district-worthy criteria. If we cut our house search down to the three square miles that is Hogwarts "zone", well, that gave us five choices, and again, it just didn't sound like we were giving ourselves any kind of freedom. It felt a lot like the opposite of freedom, and EVERYTHING we sold our house for, actually. So, I sat paralyzed and eating baby carrots, because I am still on my diet--but I would very much have liked for them to be bon bons, or Cadbury mini eggs (best. candy. EVA.).
Now is a good time to tell you that I have prayed, RELENTLESSLY, that our next choice would be...obvious. I think we've established that with enough paint, I could be happy ANYWHERE--which is exactly why I need to know, definitively, what the right move is. I assumed this would happen just by playing the odds; that of the 20+ houses we were looking at, some owners would want nothing to do with renting, and a handful would. Once we had that list narrowed down, I figured it would be pretty easy to identify the Lord's hand in all of this, because he would manifest himself as some sort of "nook" or a third floor with slanted ceilings, or a finished basement--and that would be the equivalent of angels descending to earth and blowing trumpets, or something. I'm joking, but I'm not. How many of us envision heaven-on-earth as a large Victorian mansion (or insert your particular brand of architectural porn here), REHABBED with granite counter tops, but retaining all of it's old charm? WTF is wrong with us.
I NEVER envisioned the obvious part of this being the letting go of our school. Or, more specifically, it letting go of us. The school I have grown to LOVE, even though I felt completely foreign there last August. Do you see what I did? We went forward with changing our lifestyle, and I went ahead and latched right on to whatever I could make mine. Whatever I could keep and cling to. Have you SEEN my basement? This is what I DO, people. I hoard everything, including schools.
On day three of my stress-induced baby carrot binge, Mike happened to come home for lunch. For the first time, I asked him how he thought we should move forward. And he said the words I KNEW he was always thinking, but waited ever so patiently for me to be in a place where I could receive them.
We needed to look outside of our school district. We needed to also be looking ONE suburb over, to the school district we thought we would move to when this whole debacle began. There was NO reason not to consider it, since we had no guarantees that we would be able to be back at Hogwarts. It was freaking obvious, but not like that charming sun room I was looking for.
I knew I didn't have an argument, really--and so I jumped on my computer and pulled up listings, and I played my only card, the HEAVY SULK, which REALLY loses it's power in the age of the iPad, because Mike is never actually looking at me anymore. Now he's looking at me on facebook, and my sulk does not translate there, in real time. He suggested that I start with properties that were for rent--and then I sulked some more, because properties that are listed for rent are NOT WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR, MIKE. I say this, because properties that are listed for rent are typically more run down and smaller than would work for us (because renters are generally NOT families with four kids).
And blog world, I KID YOU NOT. I sighed, and clicked the "search" button, and listed among the ten houses that popped up was OUR HOUSE. It stood out because of it's street address. Because I KNEW that street. Everyone KNOWS that street. And then I clicked on it's link, and I yelped--and then I panicked, because I KNEW what I was looking at.