We moved into our home 6 years ago this summer; one two year old and one in the oven (that we discovered the day of our closing). We got lucky and into our place before the housing prices became really, really, really insane, but we still paid a lot per square foot for the 1,000 of them we became proud owners of.
But alas, great location, the best neighbors ever, and three bedrooms for our family = the perfect place for us. We chose a condo, the first floor of a triple decker, for our forever home. We love the city and want to be here forever, and since we are such a busy family, spending over a half a million for a single family home seemed like a big waste of money and square footage.
Both Matt and I work outside the house, the girls go to school right down the street and are busy with dance, soccer, martial arts, choir, theater, track and all the friends we can find at any of the three parks within walking distance. We have the zoo, the aquarium, museums, the beach, restaurants, bike trails, all the things to do! Who needs a big house when the city is your playground?
And then, March 2020 came at us HOT. Never did I ever imagine that our family's entire way of living would be shut down and we would be exiled like Napoleon into our little home island with four people, a dog and a gecko. Sure, we have had snow days (yoooo, winter 2014) and every once in a while I might want to stay home for a weekend day but never have we had nowhere to be, with no one to see, and the knowledge that our very act of staying home would be an act of kindness to our beloved city.
So now that we are cautiously entering into a phase three, do I regret not having a bigger home or (gasp) not fleeing to the suburbs with their big backyards and second bathrooms?
As a matter of fact, if we had to do it all over again, this is exactly where I would want to be. Yes, we made some indulgent purchases to survive: our first ever bedroom tv for kiddo free Netflix dates and Saturday afternoon Disney+ naps; headphones and technology that allowed us all to be on Zoom school/work at the same time; a lock on the office/third bedroom. We adjusted and we made it work and are actually coming out of this with a better respect for living in such close proximity to people and each other. Although we were self-isolating we have two homes above us that are a part of our germ bubble and became a crucial part of the evening porch-cocktail routine; a time we used to process the world, talk to other adults and watch the girls as they lived their best lives covered in chalk and bubbles getting all the attention in the world from 5 adults they love.
We also got to know our neighbors better, sitting on the porch as they walked their dogs after working from home all day, stopping by to socially distant chat and compare quarantine stories; kids riding scooters down the street who would admire the girls' chalk art and share their adventures in homeschooling; elderly neighbors out for walks who we could check in with from across the street.
Melvin and I made new friends on our early morning masked runs down the Neponset Trail, waving and saying hello to the regulars who shared our schedule: walkers and cyclists, our local park ranger, the firefighters outside the station, the nurses changing shifts at the nursing home. All of them became a part of our new routine.
I knew in February we live in the best neighborhood in the best city in the world, but experiencing this pandemic together made it even more clear. Boston was hit so very hard with this pandemic but I have every bit of faith we will come out of this even better, I know our little pocket of the neighborhood will.
Thinking of those who are suffering at home with abusers, without jobs and who have been ill.
Thank you to those on the frontlines, the restaurant industry, scientists, people fighting for human rights.
PS. Wear a mask, wash your hands, and don't be a racist.
|Melvin (begrudgingly) learned to share his sun spot.|
|Celebrating her birthday with a class Zoom serenade.|
|Virtual wine tasting with our neighbors.|
|So. Many. Forts|
|Socially distant Easter.|
|Showing her trash man friend some love.|