July 29, 2010 3:23 pm
Tampa is the city I have called home for the past seven years. We have a great house on the end of a quiet cul-de-sac. The yard is huge and the pool is beautiful, we have remodeled and landscaped and made the place gorgeous to the tune of a fuckload of money. Still, I have never felt completely safe here. Our neighborhood is nice, but go a mile in either direction and you run into pocket ghettos with crime filled areas and questionable looking people hanging out on every street corner. We set the alarm every night and I sleep with one eye open, getting up to investigate every sound I hear.
Jamie and I bought our house fresh off of our honeymoon. Kidless and eager to start a family, the huge backyard, pool and cul-de-sac got us. It was the second house we looked at and we signed a contract later that night. Without doing ANY of the research that prospective parents should do when moving to a new area. Fast forward a few years when we realized that the cheesy commercial is true, having kids changes everything.
As our kids approach school age, I have started looking forward to our future and it looks bleak as hell. The middle school we’re zoned for has a 45% overall reading proficiency and the high school’s is 33%. I’m still not sure how the fuck that is possible but they are the odds we’re up against and it’s bullshit. I have started mentally preparing Jamie in order to shell out money for private school down the line. There is no way in hell I am subjecting my kids to schools that bad. I will *gasp* home school before I let that happen. And I would rather lose an appendage before home schooling these angels.
All of these things didn’t matter until recently. Jamie has always stood firm on the fact that we aren’t moving, ever. We bought at the height of the market and put a lot into the house so trying to sell it now would mean we would be getting financially ass raped, something neither of us in the mood for. But the kids. And the schools. And the area. And private school tuition.
We went on a beach vacation with the kids a few weeks back. While we were there, Jamie dropped a huge fucking bomb on me. After a couple of beers, he informed me that fuck it, we need to sell the house and move somewhere where I feel safe and the kids can go to good schools. My parents are fifty minutes away in the nice, quiet, low crime area that I grew up in and he thought we should move there. Jamie works from home so really, we are free to go wherever. With the kids and their health problems, it would be nice to have family nearby to lean on.
Still, I was initially sad and mad and generally confused about the whole thing. I have finally gotten into a good routine here in this town, it finally feels like I actually live here. I have trustworthy doctors and specialists and specialists for the specialists. The grocery store, gym and kid friendly places all know our faces and act like they care. I have friends here, ones that I can call at the drop of a hat and meet up with when either of us needs a witness to avoid killing our children. I am about to lose all of that and I will have to start over from scratch. But it’s for the kids so I will do it. We will be in a safe place where I have no qualms about letting them ride their bikes up and down our street.
Thus began the whirlwind real estate adventure we’ve been on for the past few weeks. A month ago, I would have laughed if you told me I was rearranging my life like this. Then three weeks ago, we made the decision and have started making plans. There is a POD in our driveway and I’m dumping piles of shit into it to make our house look more appealing to sell. We’ve been house hunting and every single available second I have is spent scouring the internet for that perfect house. And I think we found it. Last weekend, we put an offer in on a short sale house that we fell in love with. Now we sit and wait for days/weeks/months for the bank to approve or deny our offer.
This house we found is in the middle of a big, beautiful neighborhood with its own playground, pool and tennis courts. There is a YMCA with an awesome water park backing up to the neighborhood and the schools are all A-rated so we won’t need to shell out private school tuition. My parents will be 14 minutes away and you’d better believe their asses will be sitting on our couch every other week while we go on a date night. My brothers and their kids are minutes away and my kids will grow up knowing their cousins. Just thinking about all of this makes me smile.
So there you have it, just one of the reasons real life has taken me away from blogging. There are many more but we will save those for another post. Once again, Jamie and I are starting our lives over in a new, exciting place and a big, beautiful house. This time, we bring our kids and dogs and an assload of toys with us. I have no doubt that we’re doing the best thing for our family and I can’t wait. And what has been taking up your time this summer?