Boyfriend and I are going to move in together. Never mind the fact that we’ve been living together for more than three years. That’s different, because he moved in with me.
On February 25, settlement will take place on a house which we picked out together. As exciting as I find this impending event to be, it’s also somewhat terrifying and sad. The new house represents a new phase of integration and therefore the transition away from my Single Me Element.
I’m going to sell my current house. My house… which served as my Post-Divorce Castle. In 2006, the 1200-square-foot red brick Cape Cod was perfect for me and my two 4-legged children. It boasted a spacious master bedroom with a window seat for my window-loving, 100-pound bully boy. There was a fenced yard where my little girl could freely run and play to her heart’s content. The small kitchen didn’t cut into my living space. And that was great, because I spend very little time in the kitchen. There was no garage… not even a driveway, but that was OK because I didn’t mind the short walk to/from the curb. From the first moment I stepped inside, I knew it was home.
It’s no secret that much has changed since 2006. I’ve lost a dog and gained a partner and two pseudo-stepchildren (not in that order). Between us, we have 3 vehicles, 2 kayaks, 4 beds, 2 pinball machines, a motorcycle, a boat, 6 bicycles, 9 snowboards, even more skateboards, several guitars and hundreds of cameras… to name a few items. Obviously 1200 square feet with no driveway or garage simply doesn’t work for us. For years, we’ve halfheartedly searched for a solution. On December 23, 2010, we wholeheartedly found it.
The new house has enough bedrooms for everyone. A bathroom with a whirlpool tub is attached to the master bedroom. There’s space for the pinball machines and the exercise equipment. We’ll have a garage to house our vehicles and a shed to house our bikes. There’s even a 3-point parking spot in the backyard on which to set our boat. The yard lacks a dog run, but we can change that.
In addition to packing, we’re now making a list of what needs to done to my house to make it market-ready. Many items on the list are things we agree on. Several, we don’t. For instance, remember that supercool wall that I sponge-painted last summer? Boyfriend says it’s not “neutral” enough and I should paint over it before listing the house. I say that a little box with no driveway isn’t marketable without some serious personality infusion. His argument is personally hurtful to me, because I’m holding on to my house as if it’s part of myself… and I need to detach. This is not about me, it’s about someone else paying off my mortgage in a crappy real estate market. Still, it hurts.
While working through that attachment issue, I’m turning my attention to the next scheduled roof-over-my-head. I realize that the next house is a new beginning for all of us and it’s important to showcase that fact throughout our transition. Not only is this a group project for me and Boyfriend, it’s also a special place for the boys because it was chosen with them in mind. I want them to feel a sense of belonging… pride in their individual rooms… Ultimately, I want this to be their “Other Home” instead of “Dad’s Girlfriend’s House” (as they originally came to know my current abode).
This afternoon, Boyfriend and I made a trip to the local new age store where we purchased some sage, a candle and a “housewarming” prayer. We’ve agreed to enlist the help of the boys for some sort of introduction/welcome/cleansing ritual to take place before we break bread (tear apart a takeout pizza) in the new space (note to self: google such rituals prior to February 25). I’m hoping this activity will prove equally inclusive and engaging as we celebrate this evolution of our family. Since Boyfriend and I have no plans to get married, this is going to be our Big Deal.
The move and new layout will surely be a source of stress and adjustment as we move forward. We know that. Yet, it seems this next step is perfectly positioned for us. The new house even has a bay window in which to place the cremains of our beloved bully boy.
I think it will be good.