It was probably about a year ago, we were sitting around our friend’s kitchen table, kids running around upstairs, us lingering in the moments between the kids settling down (hahahahahahaha) and us playing a game, and we started scrolling through housing listings on our phones.
Vinnie and I had talked about it for awhile, how cool it would be, to own a house big enough for two families. Save money. Live with friends. Have personal space AND community, all in one building. We could take turns babysitting. We could go for runs during the day. The kids would entertain each other and be out of our hair long enough for us to be able to do dishes or make dinner. We could stay up late, and then just walk down (or up) stairs, rather than lug sleeping children out to the minivan and drive half an hour to get home.
It would be a dream.
And so, we did it.
I don’t think that it’s for everyone. I’ll say that.
I don’t think it would have been right for me, at twenty-four and we were just figuring things out, as a new family.
If you’re a person who values privacy, above all else, it’s probably not for you.
If you need peace and quiet on the regular, also probably not for you.
But, now, for where I am at personally, and where we are as a family, it seems so silly that we haven’t already being doing this for years.
Our home is busy, most all of the time. There are children learning, exploring, scribbling on walls, helping with dinner, yelling over one another (just to be heard), bickering over whose cup is whose.
It’s grilled cheese and Story Cubes on the floor for lunch, and it’s little girls building business empires, with towels on their heads.
There are parents trying to get editing done, homeschool done, writing done, business work done, house work done.
Yesterday, it was a frenzy of learning, editing, running, cleaning, karate, appointments, yoga instruction, grocery store runs, crying babies, failed pizza deliveries-turned-“can you pick that up on the way home, please?” moments. I bounced their baby on my hip, then snuggled him to sleep. Jake carried my awkward and heavy “build-it-yourself” convertible sofa up from the porch to our living room. Pizza and groceries arrived with Vinnie, yoga finished and Jenny reheated her dinner.
We all stood around, smiling, sighing, letting the day just collapse around us, while we ate on paper plates and poured, what felt like, a million cups of milk.
It was two families under one roof, a dining room table with four pizza boxes and seven kids, a terrible Patriots game, a two year old making us laugh with her sleepy staggering walk and goofy grin, a stumbling mess of children up and down stairs to wash faces and brush teeth, and finally, eventually, it was quiet.
And in that quiet, as I sat down to work, I thought, how incredibly blissed out I am, at all of it. The chaotic energy. The friendships. The closeness of our kids and the opportunities to share in just boring ‘ol every day life, with people that I care about.
Pizza and football and the messiness of life, together.
It’s just nice.
Because, somehow, boring ‘ol everyday life becomes better, with friends.