Well…not technically. But it’s our first home that is ours – all ours. That’s right, aside from family and close friends (and people in the immediate vicinity who couldn’t not know), we managed to buy our first house here in Alabama without blasting the news all over the internet until it was a done deal. I don’t know how I did it. I’m terrible at not oversharing. But, none the less, it is done! We moved in (mostly) this weekend and have been trying to get through the week of homeschool, activities, and work while somehow putting away what we can. Which hasn’t been much. Our big plans for the weekend include getting the last of the items from our old house and trying to get this place into something resembling working order. Adulthood. Fun stuff.
It has 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, an open-ish space for our main living areas, a two car garage, and the most amazing bonus room above our garage that will be my dream homeschool playroom combo. So many plans have already been made in my head. Most of them involving Ikea. And bins. And all the colors. I can’t even believe that this is real life.
But one of the best things, homeschool room aside because that pretty much tops my list without question, about this move is what it has done for Anya already. There weren’t many kids on base where we were living previously, and she has missed our dear friends in Japan terribly over the past year. She gets time with her Girl Scout friends about once a week plus trips, and she LIVES for that time. Even with our houseful she gets lonely. And it was breaking my heart.
The day we got the keys for the house we stopped by to measure the space for our new fridge (!!!), and as soon as one of the other little girls on the street who was playing outside saw Anya she dropped her bike and excitedly ran over to ask if she was moving in and to tell her how happy she was that it was so. That girl’s face was so lit up, and I knew right then that this is exactly where Anya needs to be right now. And I was so right.
Anya has spent the past two afternoons after school work is done and the neighborhood kids have returned home from the schools they attend running around up and down the street in the front yards of several homes with a group of kids who are all our neighbors and have welcomed her with open arms. I get teary eyed just seeing it and thinking about it to type this. I’m looking out my living room window, and she’s out there right now running around with the biggest smile on her face. And these kids are out there every day. She has this to look forward to if we get our school work done every day. And the improvement in her disposition despite the chaos that is moving and living out of boxes is just…amazing to watch.
She needed this. And I knew it, but to see it come to fruition and what it means to her. It makes my momma heart swell with pride and happiness for my oldest child who is so much like me when it comes to the desire to be a part of something. One that hasn’t always worked out for me because of my quirks – quirks Anya shares with me. I want – no matter how naive it is – to shield her from so much of that. And knowing that the kids here are so accepting and eager for her to come out and play with them each day brings me so much joy and peace.
This is our first home. And the first place we’ve felt at home since we left Iwakuni last March. And while I’m still homesick for Japan and our amazing village there each and every day, I think we’re beginning to heal. And that is just such an amazing feeling to have.