There is nothing like finding out you're having a baby to fan the flame of house fever. Matt is even catching it too, I realized, when he asked me about a house we passed when on a walk. "What do you think of this house?" He asked with a tone of voice that said more, "I mean, like, of actually buying it?" instead of our usual "Wouldn't it be nice?" We want a fenced backyard so I get set the girls free and stay shaded on a porch with an infant. We want three bedrooms so there is space to breathe. We want a basement so we can store out-of-season clothes on site. And gosh darn it, I want a dog.
There is no doubt we will be leaving this itty bitty apartment come August - it's just a matter of buying or renting.
This afternoon Matt and I went to a little special needs family play date thing we put together with two other kids from Abigail's class. One of the girls is a little older than Abigail and has Down syndrome. I'd met her parents a few times before, but this was the first time we really got to hang out, so I peppered her with questions. "How's potty training going?" "When did you transition to a big girl bed?" "Is she a runner too?" We talked about recent surgeries (her daughter has had a few other complications common with Down syndrome that so far we've been blessed enough to avoid) and future fears. It has been a long time since I've really hung out with someone else in the community and it was so refreshing to be able to talk to someone to whose life I can really relate. The other girl at our play date is a year younger than Abigail and has cerebral palsy, but we share in common that our special needs child is our first child. Both Abigail and her friend have typically developing little sisters who are about the same age. It was so fun to be able to talk to another mom about how different typical is. It's a really rare situation to be in. Spending time with these women reminded me how beneficial it is to have friends from all walks of life. I need my special needs mom friends. I need my stay-at-home Catholic wife friends. I need friends who care about books and swear and go hiking. Friends who are older than me and friends who are more adventurous than me. I have a friend from college with whom I've mostly fallen out of contact, except that I stalk her on Facebook and live vicariously through her. She is who I would wish to be in an alternate universe. She rock climbs. She honeymooned in Patagonia. Right now she teaches English on an island in the Caribbean. She's passionate and cares about people and the environment with a deep, fervent love that you sense as soon as you meet her. I love that girl and what she's doing, although I fully acknowledge that I could never do it. It took my judgmental personality 28 years to come to this conclusion, but it really does take all types. It takes leaders and followers and extroverts and introverts. It takes (dare I say it?) conservatives and liberals. And no matter who our society holds up as the "most valuable" personality, the world would collapse without all of our different interests. I appreciate that so very much, and the more diverse my circle of friends become, the easier it becomes for me to fully embrace the second greatest commandment.