Saturday, May 1, 2010


One of my best friends just bought a new house. It has been a really long process for her entire family because, like everywhere else right now, that market has really been tough here in California. So she tried to sell her house over a year ago and ended up taking it off the market and having to wait almost a year. She was able to sell her house and her family moved into an apartment until they found the perfect house. They finally found "the house" and went through the entire buying process (including lots of hiccups along the way) and got the keys on Friday. I went by today to check it out.

The house is beautiful. It is a fabulous house in which to raise their two kids. I could go on and on about the house, but that isn't what really stuck with me today. What stuck with me was the entire package. The neighborhood is fabulous. The schools are great. They are done. You know what I mean? No 5 year living here until we can afford "we'll stay here until the kids are school aged..." They are done. They get to move into this house, make it their own and stay put.

And since I drove away from their house I have been so depressed. I had no idea how much I wanted that. I don't know if I will even be able to express what I mean, but there has got to be such a fabulous feeling of...I don't know...just done.

When I bought the house I currently live in, it was when I was with The Ex. We had been trying to get pregnant for two years and it hadn't happened, and we certainly weren't obsessed with school districts or anything. This was our second house and we were just thrilled to making the step up from our first house. We thought this house would just be a "stepping stone" and the next house we bought would be "IT." And then we got pregnant and had The Boy. And then...well we all know what happened after that. She moved out on his 6 month birthday and we eventually broke up for good (although, damn, that was a loooong breakup...). And now I live here with the two kids.

Now don't get me wrong, I am extremely lucky to be a single parent who owns her own house in the Bay Area of California. I bought The Ex out of this house about a year and a half ago. I don't take that for granted at all. I do not live in an apartment. I am not renting. I own my own home and that is fabulous. And up until today I was stoked about that. But after seeing my friend and her new home in her new neighborhood with her fabulous schools for her kids...I am just so bummed. And the reason I am bummed is because as long as I am single, that is not in the cards for me. It just isn't. And there are very few things in my life that I feel as though I am held back from simply because I am single. And this is one of them. I have a very rich life. I have a fabulous family, my kids are more than loved, and I have amazing friends. But there is no way I could afford to move into a house and just be...done. And as The Boy is 4, the entire school debate is coming quickly. I can't stomach the idea of having to pay to send him to private school. But the schools in this area aren't fabulous. And I don't want him to get in with a bad crowd or have a sub par I really need to think about that. But that is another post for another day.

Today I am sort of moping around in the fact that you can't get away from the fact that my life is limited because I am single. I never wanted to be single. I really didn't. But I am here and really, on most days, I am completely okay with it. Honestly I am. I think that's why I feel so funky today. Because usually I am totally aware of how very lucky I really am, and how fabulous a life I lead, and I don't feel as though I (or my kids) are lacking in any way. But today? I feel a little deflated. Coming back to my little house in my somewhat crappy neighborhood with the pooper of a school down the street...well I am just a little bummed.

BUT! I have these two amazing kids, and I have a house to live in, and really I think what we all want is just to be happy and to be able to give our kids the best life we can. And I think I am doing the best I can at both of those things. I will just have to deal with the school debate on another day...

And so this post isn't a complete downer, here is an adorable pic of my two babies (taken professionally for The Girl's first birthday...):


Laraf123 said...

Boy, do we have something in common. I, too, have my own house and know how lucky I am to be able to say that. But I moved here before kids. The schools are ok, but not fabulous. Like all moms, I want the VERY best for my children. But having only one income (my own, I cannot afford to move to an area with exceptional schools. My son will start kdgn in 2 years and I'm already losing sleep over this.

Are there any charter schools in your area. Any magnet schools? Either may be an option worth looking into.

Those children of yours are just beautiful--what a sweet pose!

Carey said...

You know, I think you will figure it all out - you always seem to. And some would think I am crazy, but I think so much learning comes from so many other places than just school. If your kids don't go to the 'best' school, that is ok - they'll learn other things along the way in that journey and I am sure it won't hold them back from anything. My crappy school sure didn't!

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

I'm with you on the importance of schools. We're in what may well not be our forever home, but we're in our forever school district (pretty simple = one school for the whole island). The school system was nontrivial part of why we moved here.

So, I can see how it would bother you, because it would bother me as well, but the elementary school difference is not as big as when you move further on in school.

For those later stages (middle/high school), think about whether there are any special programs that your son could enroll in corresponding to his interests. My sister-in-law went to inner city public high school which would be characterized as not such a good school, but she did half the day at an writing and performing arts program elsewhere... and she ended up getting into a very prestigious Ivy-of-the-West college where she has been doing really well. So, I think not-so-great schools, if supplemented with other educational opportunities, formal and informal, can lead to a great overall educational experience.

Ocean Dreamer said...

I so hear you on limitations of being a single parent. :(

I don't know the school you're referring to or what you don't like about it, but as a teacher, I feel compelled to add that school quality is based on a lot more than test scores. Seattle, for instance, did somewhat poorly on test scores until they started offering the tests in multiple languages, and then the scores shot up. Though as a sub I've been in many schools in the district and there are definite differences between them....