Monday, July 13, 2009

The House Is On the Market! (Or, How to Drive Yourself a Little Bit Crazy)

Breaking news! We are selling our house. In this economy? Yes! You might ask, "Is the bank making you sell your house?" Nope! We are selling the house because we are morons and prefer to go through major life events at the absolute worst possible time in modern history. I'm pretty sure that if there were a nuclear holocaust, Super Ninja and I would probably turn to each other and say, "You know, maybe NOW is the time to start that vegetable garden."

We like where we live, honestly and truly -- our neighbors are stellar, our daycare provider is essentially a co-parent who is irreplaceable, we know the best places to shop, we're 25 minutes from downtown DC and downtown Baltimore (by car OR by train!), there are about a dozen parks and playgrounds within five minutes of our house, beautifully maintained walking paths and bike trails, AND there are ghosts in our town. You can't beat that kind of combination...

So why are we moving?

The motivation behind this is two-fold: (1) the public elementary school in our neighborhood kind of stinks, and (2) we just don't fit in our house anymore. Most folks, when you cite these rationales, totally understand. But I still feel really guilty. Why on earth, you might ask, would I feel guilty about moving for perfectly legit reasons?

Regarding the poor quality of the school... I work for an educational non-profit whose sole purpose is to help teachers teach better in an effort to improve schools so that every child can learn to his/her fullest potential. To turn a school around takes the investment of each parent and teacher in the school. I'm essentially abandoning the school by not even enrolling my kid there. I'm abdicating any responsibility to make it a better educational institution.

Look at the ego on me, eh? Like ONE parent who can contribute approximately 27 minutes per week would make it a Blue Ribbon school.

I'm not an elitist. I want my kids to go to public school. I want them to understand that the world is made up of a mix of people, and is not uniformly Catholic and white. This, I believe, will serve them best in life since we have no plans to move to a white Roman Catholic commune. And, I don't want subjects like History and English to be shot through with religious literature. Don't get me wrong; religion will be a part of their upbringing, but I don't want it to be the core of their education. All things being equal, I'd rather the money I spend on tuition go to a mortgage in a good school district.

As for the amount of space we need -- I think I equate living within one's space to living within one's means. And by buying a bigger house, we're not addressing the root of the problem. We're not horders or anything like that. But kids, wow, they come with a lot of stuff. And because of hand-me-downs, and possible future children, and visiting children, we actually have everything you'd need for kids from birth to about ten-years-old. And that, my friends, takes up a 10 x 10 climate-controlled storage room.

I'll squash the guilty complex the second our house sells and I can start freaking out about finding a new place. Out with the old stress, in with the new!

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