With Kitty loving her new school, Elma loving the nursery section and Pip chomping at the bit to join them, we’ve been toying with the idea of moving slightly nearer than a county away for a little while. We bring it up in conversation, and then rapidly backtrack and decide that we don’t have to leave the hockey club or John’s art class if only he doesn’t mind continuing to drive crazy distances every day. It’s a battle of our heads, which have known that moving is inevitable since we signed the school enrolment form, and our hearts, which love where we live right now. The idea of moving is in equal parts terrifying and exciting and I lurch between the two at regular intervals.
This year we could kid ourselves that it was all going to be OK, we could cope with the distance and so what if we were the most far flung family in the entire school. From September, when Elma starts for real there’ll only be one day where she and Kitty finish at the same time, and three there and backs a day is just a school run too far.
In an ideal world of course their school would have been on the doorstep of our current house. I love our house, for all its foibles and we’ve lived here 11 years; this is the house we came home to as newlyweds, the house that became home as it bore the brunt of our decorating wims until we figured out what we liked, and the only home that our children have ever known. In the back of my head a little voice is shouting “how could you even think of leaving!”
Perhaps I’m more sentimental about it than I should be; the first time I ever moved house I was only a few weeks old and don’t remember it, and the second time I was just about to leave for university, and even then my parents were moving to what had been my grandparents’ house so it wasn’t exactly new or different. The nearest I’ve ever come to house hunting was when my father stopped being a housemaster at the school he taught at and we had to choose between two available school houses to live in for term time. John on the other hand thinks he’d moved house three or four times before they moved to his parents’ current house and is far more blase about it – unless he’s just covering up really well.
Moving will mean a new county, a new community, and a challenge to keep our ties to Warwickshire, and in the same breath will mean being nearer to some of my family, possibly with a shorter commute (and certainly a more reliable one), and near enough that we can have the kids’ school friends home to tea without having to apologise for the 40 minute drive.
So we’ve done the grown up thing, we’ve spoken to mortgage companies, and met our estate agent, and now we’re running around doing the last little bits of prinking and tidying up because tomorrow morning someone is coming to view our house. It’s not actually even on the market yet, which is at least a nice sign that the house is marketable, and the pictures haven’t been done either, and it’s all very new and somehow feels like it’s happening very fast.
My biggest fear right now is that I will never find another house that I love as much as this one; we’ve prowled Rightmove and all the estate agents in our hopefully new town and after several hours on Google street maps there are two that we would consider enough that we want to go to see them out of a pretty large search area, and I’m digging deep to find some faith that one of them, or maybe something that’s not even on the market yet, will turn out to be our dream family home and that this time next year we’ll be getting ready for our first Christmas in our new house.
It somehow feels very very adult.