Older has been dropping some not so subtle hints about his desire for a bigger house. We were talking, in passing, about moving someday and I said “there will come a day when we’re going to want more space” and he commented without missing a beat “we could use some more space now”. This conversation took place just after Christmas when horizontal surfaces in our house were still scattered with Christmas presents that had not yet found a place. Or more accurately, had not yet evicted some other item from its home to take its spot. Older is right, our house is full; very full. My mother gave the girls new winter coats for Christmas and they were promptly returned, the girls already have winter coats and we simply don’t have enough room for two (not to mention the fact that we live somewhere where they only need coats at all about a dozen times a year). I am fond of saying “A place for everything, and everything in it’s place” which Husband likes to follow with “And every place has a thing.” At night, Older likes it when his sisters fall asleep before him and I, none too gracefully, climb up into his bunk bed and we talk. Lately he has been heaving a sigh as we talk and telling me “I would love to have my own room.” The apple does not fall far from the tree and ever the future planner he is already planning out what his hypothetical solitary room would look like. When I told him that it’s going to be awhile – like years – he replied that he didn’t need a big room, only big enough for a bed.
I am not going to lie. I would love for each child to be able to have their own bedroom and for us to all sit at the kitchen table at once (it holds three). The worst moments of little house living are in the middle of the night when one of the big kids gets up to refill their water bottle or ask us to tuck them back under the blankets and they inadvertently wake up the baby. Oh how I wish then for a house where Baby could have her own room. All that said, I’ve been feeling unsettled lately about my dreams of a bigger house. I look around our house and I know that by the standards of most of the world we are so incredibly wealthy. We have enough food on our table every night that I complain about how much food the kids (Older) have rejected or dropped on the floor. In our house, at this very moment, are seven devices that can access the internet. We have more books than I can count. We might not have central heating but we have a fireplace, a stack of wood, and warm blankets piled on every bed. I know that our getting a bigger house won’t directly be taking resources away from any one else in any other part of the world who has to make do with less and yet I don’t know how to reconcile my wants with my needs. I also like some of the aspects of living in a little house: little mortgage, little bit to clean, kids who have to learn how to get along and share a little space together.
It’s a totally moot point anyway right now. I don’t have a freaking job! I have at least a couple of years to feel alternating guilt over not providing enough space for my kids or guilt over being an American resource hog.