The house on the hill
On weekends we normally drive Gus around to fall asleep for his nap. He transfers from the car to the house pretty reliably if we time it right and the whole process takes 20 minutes while trying to get him down inside in his bed will take 45+. (Don’t you worry, he naps like a dream at daycare…) We know many good routes but often we just go somewhere in the morning to be wild and he falls asleep on the way home. Occasionally we need to do a big lap around the neighborhood to seal the deal.
This weekend we took a bit of a drive up through the hills behind out house. It was snowing up there and we drove through the slush listening to Neko Case (Gus’s calm down music) and pulled in the driveway thinking he was asleep. We had something we wanted to do that afternoon and worked hard to time it right and were annoyed when he was wide awake in the back seat. Lesley went inside and I did the lap again where he promptly feel asleep, took a long nap, and we were a half hour late for our afternoon engagement.
The drive up through the hills has us pass by our old rental house. We lived there for two years right before we bought our house three and a half years ago. Both years we lived with roommates – first a good friend who is no longer a good friend. She was an easy roommate as she was at her boyfriend’s 95% of the time. Our next roommate was our dear friend K who moved from Canada from grad school, lived with us there (thanks craigslist!), moved with us to our current house when we bought it, moved into her own place when I was pregnant, and then went back to Canada. (This is a lot of information that doesn’t relate to this but she is temporarily moving back and arrives Sunday and I CAN’T WAIT.) We paid something like $650 in rent, called our landlord when there were problems, and had no major responsibilities.
The house had many drawbacks. It was likely not insulated. Mold grew out of our floor. It was impossible to bike to and from it unless you were in much better shape than I will ever be. But life was so simple and easy. We thought we had no money but we paid $650 in rent and did not have a toddler. We did whatever we wanted when we wanted. We went out for beers and bike rides and binge watched tv. It was super great.
Life now is good but different and when I drive by the house on the hill with a toddler who won’t nap unless being driven around (and that’s iffy), a toddler I screamed at moments earlier for never not touching things, it seems so simple there. Retrospect life seems so amazing and I feel a twinge of something that is more jealousy than regret. I’ve lost good friendships since having Gus and while those weren’t because of him I wouldn’t have lost them without him coming. I’ve made new friendships but they are not as close as old ones. I have a group of mom friends that are wonderful but don’t feel like home. I have a life that I never feel I can control. I want to get my shit together and I just can’t. I didn’t have it together before but I really want to now. I want to show up somewhere on time.
It’s so easy to find the negative in life with a toddler. But while looping around, listening to baby snore over the sounds of Neko Case I remembered that that day, last Saturday, was three years since I got pregnant. I got pregnant three year ago on New Years Day. So much changed in the time around that. We had bought a house 7 months earlier. Our relationships with people changed in the year after. Our lives are so different than they were when we lived in the house on the hill. They are better. We have less time to drink in the sun. We ride bikes less. We are always late. But life is so much better. And you know what? In a few years we’ll be able to do all the things that we can’t do now. He’ll hang out with us when we ride bikes to a bar in the middle of the day. (We do this now with him but it will become more fun.) We’ll get places on time. It will all be okay. This is just a small part of our life that is fantastic and really fucking hard. But realistically – isn’t all of life fantastic and really fucking hard?
Also, after we moved out there was a murder/suicide in the house on the hill. Definitely makes it seem less awesome.