Friday, April 26, 2013

Accidental Memories

It's nearly been two years since we left all we knew behind, moved to Texas, and signed a lease on an apartment.  We never thought we would live in an apartment while Jay finished seminary, but that was what happened.  And we stayed there for two lease extensions.  Never would I have thought that would happen.  An apartment is not practical for two children and a dog.  It's not conducive to having guests over.  And it's just not where I thought we would be after owning a home and starting a family.  But it was.

While I did not daily keep an attitude of contentment and grace about living in the "1000 square feet of fun," it really was not so bad.  We had very quiet neighbors.  Jay never had to do yardwork (a huge bonus during a very busy season of life).  We had the privilege of swimming in two very nice pools.  And we happened to live in a very nice part of Fort Worth conveniently located to so many frequented places for our family.  God was good, and we made friends in our apartment complex, very good friends.  Even more, this is were we created memories.  Whether I liked it or not, the boys spent a chunk of their childhood in the apartment.

As I reflect now on our last night here, I think about all the ways the boys have grown and changed while we were apartment dwellers.  Athan was a baby when we moved here.  I still nursed him and he did not yet sleep through the night.  He was walking, but more like just steps at a time.  He even crawled for awhile while living here.  He went through his spike-y hair stage, he had a time of calling everyone Da-da, his personality blossomed and we learned so much about him.  Hudson has equally transformed.  We brought an energetic three year old with us to Texas and now he's an energetic five year old that can do so much more.  He learned to swim in the apartment pool and to ride a bike in the parking complex.  He took on a love of numbers and animals and has amazed us at what he can understand and knows about these things.  As a five year old, he suddenly became brave and seemed to love life even more.  Jay and I have both turned 30.  He has finished seminary.  I learned how to balance working and mothering.

One aspect of the apartment I have enjoyed is how we have shared our space so well with each other.  Our boys have no real concept of "my toys."  They may fight if one has a toy, and the other tries to take it.  But because we have never separated their things, they don't really know who was given what.  I love that.  That has been true of our space as well.  The boys are absolutely welcome in our room.  In fact, Hudson slept in there much more when we first moved.  We would lay a sleeping bag beside our bed for when Athan would wake up with cries in the night.  He knew to come there to find a quiet place.  He would nap in my room.  He then would just go to my room for quiet time with toys as he got older.  I always loved going to bed at night and finding a plastic bug under my pillow that he overlooked when cleaning up.  I liked that he had been there, and it reminded my at the end of my tiring day what a joy it is for me to mother these boys.

So while I am not sad to leave the apartment, I do look back with fond memories of hanging Christmas lights inside the house, or letting the boys play football/baseball/soccer inside the house.  We made memories and made this our home because we were together.  I look forward to how God will use our next home as a place to make memories, grow together, and love on others.