of the three apartments aaron and i have rented together, our current has seen and known us the longest. an electrical fire in our first kicked us out a few months early, and by the time management had repaired all the smoke and water and electrical damage the fire had done on the (fifteen floors of) units, our lease was up — and i do mean literally the exact same day. we handed the keys in a (little over a) week before the lease ended on our second so we could make it back to kansas city from dallas in time for aaron to begin his new job. this time around, on our third, we signed lease renewal papers (for the first time ever!) and are now guaranteed (barring something terrible like another electrical fire happening — knock on wood!) to stay put where we are for at least one more year.
last march, after we signed the lease on our downtown loft and began planting ourselves into the hustle and bustle of the (not-so-big) city once again, i let myself wallow in fear and in guilt. i worried i was failing liam by pulling him away from the one thing he loves most in the world — nature. the flowers, the trees, the birds, and the bees. holing up in a concrete jungle almost seemed like some form of imprisonment. we had done it before, but our suburban stays in between, with the big grassy yards just outside the door, and walking trails tucked behind the neighbourhoods, and all the early morning deer and rabbit and squirrel sightings, had me feeling awfully confused about what was “right” and what was “wrong” for our family.
i remember being told how silly i was for thinking there could even be a “right” or a “wrong” where this was concerned. and, as it turns out, everyone (who isn’t me) was right — there is no right or wrong. there’s no guarantee that if we had played it safe and found a home somewhere in the suburbs, away from all the towering buildings and zippy taxicabs, our nature-lovin’ liam would’ve been happier. we’re a drive away from any open field or thick forest, but we still have little pockets of (man-made) “nature” tucked in here and there. our favourite vine-covered wall is quite literally right around the corner from where we hang our hats; two complete blocks of downtown’s (very not busy) business district are taken up by a seemingly undiscovered (it’s seriously always empty, and the introvert in me loves it for that very reason) grassy knoll, and a fountain that flows down-down-down into a large, circular, ankle-deep, stone-bottomed, perfect-for-that-hot-and-humid-midwestern-summertime pool; there’s a small, shady, tree-lined park with a gorgeous view of the kansas city skyline just across the main street bridge.
it’s not exactly ideal — and of course we’d still rather be living out our story in a quaint bungalow by the sea or a charming cottage in the country or a cosy cabin in the woods because goodness, waking up in any one of those would be like never having to leave your sweet nighttime dreams behind — but it’s something. and — at least for this season of our lives together, however long it may last — it’s our something. and that alone makes it enough.
366 days (one leap year!) later, i think we all three agree — we’re oh so glad we made the choice we did, safety-of-the-suburbs sacrifice and all, because: