Moving?

As I indicated a couple of weeks ago, we may be moving.  We made an offer this evening.  We gave the seller 48 hours to respond, but I expect that she will accept: it’s a fair offer in a buyer’s market, and she likes us.  If she accepts, posting may become very erratic for the next month or so while we deal with all the logistics and get this house ready to put on the market.

Everyone we talk to seems to be assuming that we’re moving because we’re unhappy with the local school.  It’s certainly a factor, but not the only one.  Overall, I’d say that D’s had a pretty good year at school.  He’s learned to read (to the point that I find myself having to explain newspaper headlines), to count up to a thousand or so, to color between the lines.  He considers almost all of his classmates to be his friends, and was heartbroken last week when he was too sick to go to school to perform his role in the Black History Month skit.  (He was supposed to be the manager who hires Jackie Robinson.)

But we do have some frustrations with the school.  D’s teacher has been out sick for two extended periods.  That’s not something that the school can control, but it would be nice if they had sent a letter home saying something about it, rather than leaving me to interrogate D each day about whether she was back.  When I commented to the principal that it was hard on the kids for her to miss yet another day for training right after she had been out for 3 weeks, the principal got all defensive about it, instead of agreeing that it was unfortunate.  None of the kids in D’s class got awards (other than attendance) at the first honors assembly, because the teacher had been out and hadn’t submitted them, so the principal said that they’d have a separate assembly just for that class.  It didn’t happen.

I’m also frustrated by the lack of community.  Only a very few kids ever play on the playground after school.  The PTA is essentially inactive.  And in spite of D’s popularity — kids rush up to him at school to give him hugs — he’s been invited to exactly one playdate and one birthday party by kids from school.  (My guess is that this is a class thing — as Lareau discusses, working class and poor kids are far more likely to play with the kids next door than to go to an arranged playdate.)  And this might be ok if there were other neighborhood kids for the boys to play with, but there doesn’t seem to be much of that either.  T and I finally figured out that, having chosen a place to live based largely on its convenience and access to the metro, we’re surrounded by other people who chose a place to live largely on its convenience and access to the metro.  And our attempts to build community through drop-in-dinners have been a flop.

We’re also bursting at the seams a little bit.  I feel more than a bit silly and self-indulgent saying that, given that my parents raised 3 children to adulthood in an apartment smaller than this house, not to mention the vast majority of people in the world who live in smaller spaces.   But the idea of having a place to put the boys’ bikes that isn’t in the middle of the living room is really appealing.

Wish us luck.

12 Responses to “Moving?”

  1. merseydotes Says:

    Good luck! I hope it all works out.

  2. Jennifer Says:

    Good luck from me too! I hope it all works out for you.

  3. Jody Says:

    Good Luck! Keep us posted at least on the sales situations.
    (I wish Wilder had such good social feelings about school. It’s reached the point where he’s seeing the counselor, telling his gramma on the phone that he’s lonely, and insisting each morning that he doesn’t want to go to school. The thing is, he has successful playdates — as long as they’re at other people’s houses, where his sisters aren’t present to divert the playdate’s attention — and all the adults watching him in class think he gets along swimmingly.
    Frankly, that makes the whole thing worse. And of course, we can’t expect moving would improve it.)

  4. W Says:

    I can definitely sympathize on the lack of community. We lived for nearly 5 years in Alexandria (2 by the Braddock Metro, and 3 behind the Masonic Memorial), and we never really did feel a sense of community there. I’m not sure how much of it was us and how much of it was just ingrained in the neighborhoods we lived. But everyone was so transient, that I never felt that anyone (ourselves included) would be there more than 5 years, so what’s the point. We knew the names of one neighbor in our condo complex and two neighbors when we were in our house. We’ve since moved to fly-over country and in less than 9 months, already feel a much greater sense of neighborhood. Within a month we found ourselves on our neighbors’ back porch as the kids played in the backyard. I’ll be curious to hear about your new neighborhood!
    Best of luck!

  5. Karen Says:

    Good luck with everything! I hope your offer is accepted and you can quickly get your house ready for sale. (And, of course, that your house sells quickly. Thankfully spring is around the corner so you’ll be selling at the right time of the year.)
    I hear you on the “community” element. I have found the quickest way to get a sense of community (and get “plugged in”) is through our civic association. Of course we didn’t have a civic association when we moved in, but now we do — and I’m on the Board. I’ve made great friends that way, and my kids have made friends through the Association’s activities, too. It’s really been great for everyone.
    As for the PTA — again, get plugged in. I get the sense that your new school already has an active PTA, so that’s a big help. I’ve found at our school that I tend to be vocal — not to the point of being a pain in the neck, but loud enough that “another country heard from” is noticed. :-)

  6. jackie Says:

    You know I’m wishing hard for you all, especially as we navigate our own buying and selling!
    Community is one aspect I’m worried about, but in the opposite direction– we have a definite feeling of belonging in our current neighborhood, and I’m petrified that we won’t have the same in our new one. I think the school thing will be okay, the school we’ll send our girls to has an active PTA, but I’m just not sure we’ll ever feel as knit into the new neighborhood as we do our current. Our block is really unique, in that many of the families have lived here for generations, and they have all been so welcoming. We’ll miss them all.

  7. trishka Says:

    elizabeth, good luck with the house buying/selling/moving. having just gone through it last summer, the fun and stress is fresh in the memory. i hope the new neighborhood & school prove to have everything you are looking for.

  8. Genevieve Says:

    Good luck with the house / neighborhood / potential move!!

  9. Anjali Says:

    Best of luck. We are in the exact same place (well not geographically speaking), but we did just list our house for sale.

  10. landismom Says:

    Good luck!

  11. Phantom Scribbler Says:

    Oh, good luck!
    (And, as someone who spent the past day or two reading about physical living spaces in 1630 Plymouth, just so I could make myself feel better about what sometimes feels like the unbearable crush in our own living space, I say don’t apologize for being tired of having the kids’ bikes in the living room!)

  12. Angry Pregnant Lawyer Says:

    Good luck!

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