It kind of sucks to be us right now.

A few weeks ago, Ethan’s teacher sent home a copy of a story he had written about “his favorite place.” She told me this story made her cry and that she made copies to show her mother. It was a story about how this house was his favorite place in the whole world.
When I read it, I cried. Cried because all of these years, I’ve hated living in this house, because “the cabinets are ugly.” But my son, he loves it, he loves it because it has been his home. He doesn’t care what the cabinets look like, he only cares about the love and memories these walls hold inside of it. Here is a little portion of what he wrote.
As you walk in, tons of pictures are hanging on the wall. Lots of basketball posters in my room. I just love living where I live today because of all of my memories are held here, from happiness to sadness. This life here will never change.
And
By now you should know how much I love this place. I love everything in my favorite place. It fills me with joy. It is my very own house.
(Excuse me while I sob again.)
When I read that, it changed my entire perspective about this house. I had vowed to never say “I hate this house” ever again and to make sure that it always felt like our home. His words had a real impact on me.
Be grateful for what you DO have, mom..
Well, as of yesterday, we no longer have this house. Our landlord sold it unexpectedly (even though he told us he was going to “wait a year” to put it up for sale. But, I won’t EVEN go there. Bottom line is that it’s his house and he can do what he wants.) This house will belong to someone else very soon. But, what we do have is each other.
Now, we just need to find a home in which to make new memories.
And we will.
Right?
I mean, yes! We will!
(No, seriously, we will, right?)

69 thoughts on “It kind of sucks to be us right now.

  1. teachbroeck

    YES YOU WILL!!!! I moved K 5 times in 5 years…the last house we rented we call the GHETTO HOUSE…(my mom loves it when my 7 year old says THAT – NOT) Anyway last June at 32 I bought my dream house! NOt because it is huge and has a pool (it doesn’t) but because it is just right for us =) DREAM BIG!

  2. Dawn

    Your landlord seems like a real jerk, Y. I know it sucks, Ive been there, but keep in mind that things genereally fall in place the way they are supposed to. Maybe this is just God’s way of telling you that it’s time that your family move on. Things will work out, they always do. Keep your chin up.
    I too would have sobbed like a baby to read that paper he wote, it was soooo sweet. He’ll be happy anywhere that his family is. Remember that and remember that if you make it seem like the end of the world the kids will see it as a bad thing too, make it an adventure, on that you will all come through happier at the end.
    I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. Brandi

    What a beautiful letter. Kids are so insightful. I know it’s a major pain in the ass, but you will find another home and new memories will be made. Like you said, you have each other.

  4. Danielle

    You will find a new home in which to make more memories that for certain. Moments like this remind us as parents that we are not living in a bubble, that these little guys have their own reactions to our common lives, and it is so great that he put his feelings on paper. You have each other and that is the strength that will carry you through.
    Good luck and my warmest thoughts are with you and your family.

  5. aimee

    What a precious letter. Your boys are growing up to be such amazing people, Y.
    I know how the “what? I have to move … NOW? What? Wait!” feeling goes. You’ll find someplace, and create new memories. I’ll be praying for you!

  6. Ashley

    I have to say Y, you really have some pretty remarkable children.
    And dude! It is so scary when that happens and you find out you have to move!! But I’m confident that you’ll find something with a nicer landlord and everything. And I’ll bet the new home you find doesn’t have ugly cabinets.
    Just think of all the possibilities!

  7. The Real Kyla

    Awww. That is so sweet, Y. And yes, all you need to make new memories is the 5 of you. The people are what makes a house a home. Ethan will love his new house, too.

  8. steph

    I agree with Kyla that it’s the people that make a house a home and want to add…
    You should be proud of yourself, your husband and kids. A *home* is a beautiful thing, and you’ve made a really happy one and you will again.
    I won’t deny that it is a major pain in the ass to move, but you’ll get through it.

  9. Tammy

    Welcome to the world of house hunting! I’ve only been doing it for 5 days, but guess what? It can actually be fun!
    I know it’s a real pain, and financially it’s probably a disaster (isn’t it always?) but try to see it as the opportunity to find Your Home. The one without the godawful cabinets. If you make the kids see it as a great adventure, and the chance of a lifetime, then that is what they will remember from moving.

  10. Mrs Butter B

    So will you be renting? Good luck, I always hated having to find a rental place when Hubby got transferred- especially during spring/summer. I think EVERYONE moves then. But it CAN be done!!!
    If you can afford to buy: 2 words of advice- Public. Auction. Get a great deal, be prepared to do some fixing up. Totally worth it.

  11. Patois

    It’s not the house that he loves. It’s what you’ve put in it — the love, the people, the stuff. And that will all be in another place.
    I’m guessing you can’t see about buying the place from the landlord? Lower price ’cause he can save on commissions?

  12. Undercover Angel

    Chin up – everything will work out. I’m sure that wherever you move, he will still have those pictures hanging, the posters in his room, and all of the joy that you all share together. You’ll make new memories together that will be just as special as the old ones…

  13. Moogie

    Awwww…I’m sorry you have to move. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s not the house that makes the memories, it’s the people. And the people who make a house, a home. And it sounds like you have some wonderful people surrounding you. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you find the perfect place to live.

  14. Erika, Plain Jane Mom

    Adjusting is hard, but he will learn to make great memories in the next place you live. I moved a lot as a child and it worked out. I’m so sorry for the stress you’re going through now, though.

  15. jules

    OK I’m delurking… Can I just say… I love you!!
    We are in the process of moving… downsizing… and it is heartbreaking to see how it affects the kids, but I do feel that in the process we are deepening the meaning of what it means to have a Home.
    And I’m finding that my kids (ages 5 and 7) are stronger than I gave them credit for!
    Best wishes!

  16. elise

    First time commenter, so hopefully this won’t seem like assvice :)
    But! Maybe this will be the perfect opportunity. From what I’ve read, you aren’t really thrilled with A) your current house B) the landlord C) renting altogether and D) not having a job of your own. The way I see it, you could kill 4 birds with 1 stone!
    Buy a house on the cheap, and make it your job to fix it up. Believe me, we built our own home from the ground up (I am 26 years old and NOT a handy person by nature) and if we can do THAT, then you can do this for sure. I know you have kiddos, but except for the youngest, they are all of ages that they could be a great help, and think of all the memories (good, bad, and SO-bad-they’re-brilliant-later) you guys would make as a family there. Plus, you’ll be making lots of money in equity every day. Yay!

  17. Melina

    Y,
    I’m so sorry about your stupid F**KASS landlord. I can’t believe he did that to you guys.
    You and your family will be better off it sounds and just tell Ethan that he will still have all those memories of that house because they were memories of life together and that new ones will happen in the new HOME!!!
    I bet you find a better place and with GREAT cabinets. Good Luck, please keep us posted as to what you find.

  18. Amy the Mom

    Is it possible to have a crush on an entire family? I think yes.
    Your family is going to find an even better home and your wonderful children (who have obviously been reared with an abundance of love and respect) will make this an adventure. You may very well be one of the most fortunate women in the world.

  19. jen

    Y, de-lurking to give you a big virtual hug. it sounds like you’ve had great memories in your home, but the key thing to remember is that it’s the people that make the home, not the house itself! good luck. it’ll definitely work out.
    (also – HOW CUTE is your son and his heartfelt little essay? you better watch it, that boy is going to attract the LADIES as he gets older. holy moly.)

  20. Jennifer

    You totally will! (Your son’s essay blessed me too! I’ve also said repeatedly that I hate my house.)
    A couple of years ago a friend of mine, who also hated the house she and her husband were renting, found themselves in exactly your position. They also thought they were too much in debt and their credit was too poor to be able to buy a house. But they did! They found a house they loved and a way to finance it. What started out as a disaster (Oh my God! Where will we live?) turned out to be a huge blessing. And of course, they still have each other (and a great house).

  21. Bethiclaus

    You will find a great place. And your son will get the added benefit of learning that the memories don’t live in the house. They live with your family.

  22. Susan

    I think I was attached to EVERY house I lived in as a kid, no matter how big or small or ugly the cabinets. Hopefully your kids will feel the same love for their new place. Crossing my fingers for your home hunt … hey, it’s just in time for Easter.

  23. Kristin

    It’s a crummy thing your landlord has done… I hope that something wonderful comes your way and yes, I believe that, as long as you are all together, you will have a home.

  24. Lindsey

    I have to agree with Moogie. Sounds like your son loves his home, not the house. I’m sure wherever you land will be his favorite place too, because it’s his home.

  25. Denise

    Your son obviously has your writing talent and your big heart. How precious and wise he is.
    I’m sorry about the house. The same thing happened to us, except we knew in advance. And God chose the same time for my husband’s company to be sold. That’s how we left Cali and ended up here in TX. It’s way more affordable here, if you’re interested. But nothing was ever so hard for me as leaving Cali, and my family behind…
    I will say a prayer that God provides a great place for you and your family.

  26. Nina

    Your kids are wonderful. You and PigHunter must be the best parents ever. My kids would never think of things like that to say. They pretty much hate me I think (ok, not really).
    I’m sure everything will be okay.

  27. Andrea

    Wow, Y, what crappy and sudden news. I know it’s probably hard to see in the moment now, but I sooooo believe that everything happens for a reason. We didn’t think we could afford to buy but a friend suggested otherwise and we DID qualify. Check it out.
    You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers! Hang in there!

  28. tiffany

    your landlord is a douche.
    your son seems pretty cool, though.
    and he’ll probably follow you to a new house, while you won’t have to deel with the douchey landlord anymore.
    see?
    a brightside.

  29. Laural

    Wow. That’s awful. I’m sorry. we went through that – since my son’s birth we’ve moved 5 times (he is 3) from a series of unanticipated events. We’re happier now, but it takes its toll.
    But, now it is good. Finally. We’re happy in our home. It just took a long time, and I almost fell apart in the process.

  30. Kay

    Look at this as a new chapter in your lives! I know the longer you live somewhere the more emotional ties, it is so good to hear your son has such a neat outlook on things. We could all learn from kids!
    I know you will find the perfect house soon and with NO shitty cabinets!

  31. Oh, The Joys

    When my grandparents sold the house my mom grew up in – the house where they grew into my consciousness – I was devastated and very young. I vividly remember my granny telling me that “home” is not a building. Home is anywhere that the people you love are waiting for you.
    Tell him that, o.k.?

  32. Jenny

    It is going to be fine, Y. He’s not going to lose the memories, and he’ll make new, wonderful memories. Wishing you peace and excitement in the hunt for a new house.

  33. Lori

    Y, you will find something better. What a jerk to sell the house right out from under you! How did he even sell it without showing it? We live in the same city (I’m that crazy grocery store lady), and houses here stay on the market forever lately!
    Thanks for sharing your son’s amazing story with us. Wherever you live will always be his favorite place, ’cause home is always where Mama is! Good luck, and keep us posted.

  34. suni

    wow. that’s really sad and happy at the same time. through this you can teach him not to be wrapped up in things, but what those things represent .. Your family. God bless!
    ps…came here from babblz.com

  35. Susan

    I’d be *very* tempted to send a copy of that essay to my landlord, with a little note that says, “Just thought you’d like a little glimpse into our lives… And maybe think for a moment what kind of impact your selling the house from underneath us had…”
    Bastard.
    But your son — oh. There are no words.
    *sniff*

  36. margalit

    When we moved from CA back to MA, we rented a horrible apartment that I refer to as ‘the slum’. It makes your place palatial. The landlord was a slumlord. It had termites, carpenter ants and mice. LOTS of mice. It was freezing cold because the LL did all the work himself and never bothered to caulk the replacement windows. The kitchen never got about 50 degrees in the winter. The stove broke and it took him 5 MONTHS to replace it. And then he charged me for it. Slumlord galore.
    Anyhow, when the lease was up, I was like “we’re outta here” and my kids both sobbed because they LOVED living there. It was near friends, right near our beach, near stores and on a busline, walking distance to the library, etc. They could go get pizza slices, donuts, candy, and chinese food by themselves. VERY convenient and right across the street from a Whole Paycheck.
    When I got this house we currently own, it was much smaller and didn’t have all the cool features as the slum, plus it was one room smaller. They bitched and moaned, but now, 3 years down the road, if we had to move they would sob because they love it here, too. Home, for kids, is where they are loved. Where they feel safe. Where their families are. Where their stuff is.
    Your son will be OK when you move.
    And you will have a much better kitchen with real cabinets. I’d love to know how much the LL sold the house for. Is that in your local paper?

  37. Jen from Boston

    I like Tiffany’s take:
    “your landlord is a douche.
    your son seems pretty cool, though.
    and he’ll probably follow you to a new house,..”
    You WILL find something.
    p.s. Ethan is awesome.

  38. BOSSY

    It occurs to Bossy your son would make an excellent Real Estate agent. They call that “putting your best foot forward”, right?

  39. wordnerd

    What a great story. Your son is special, that’s for sure. And that’s why he will understand that the ‘home’ part of the story will follow your incredible family to the next place. A place with all the same love and memories, PLUS better cabinets!

  40. Brandi

    Just because this is the kind of day I have had, I am going to go ahead and call your landlord a fucktard. There, I feel better.
    No matter where you go and where you live, the happiness that you and your family will feel is from each other…not the four walls around you.

  41. girlplease

    The more appropriate question than how much was your house sold for, is what is the LL’s address so we can send him flamming poo bags in his mailbox? For sales, that’s what Realtor.com is for, not bugging Y during this time.

  42. Beth

    I’m with Susan. I would totally want to send a copy of Ethan’s essay to the landlord. Then again, the landlord sounds like a soulless reject who’s not worth your time. But I’m mad on your behalf, and I also think you’ll find something better that your kids will love just as much, if not more, because you’ll all be there.

  43. Danielle

    What great kids you have!!!!!
    It’s always a little heartbreaking when we move. There were so many things wrong with our last place. Oh so many, many things but it was still the place that I brought the twins home too. The place that #1 son played with his friends. Were my a few of my children were concieved. Even the terrible things couldn’t take away from it being home.
    We moved last July and we took our Home to a new place. It’s so much better than it was and you realize that the things that made it specail are the people inside.
    That doesn’t mean that I don’t cry evertime we have to do it.
    Big Hugs on finding a new place to live.

  44. KK

    Wow… I’ll keep you in my thoughts as you go through this ordeal. Wish you could stay at my house– but I live in Rochester, NY and as I am typing this..? It’s SNOWING!!!!!
    Also– I hope you blog on the DL at your parents house!?! Please say the answer is YES!!

  45. DeeDee

    place always hold memories
    being a missionary kid myself and moving constantly
    i miss the webb formed between place, identity and memories
    you’re son is lucky to have so many in this house
    the house will come to symbolize more than it physically stands for —
    i am sad you have to move — but also jealous that so many of your memories are caught within the walls of one house…
    and yes, you will find a new place to live, love and create memories
    i have found many

  46. Lucy's Mom

    Hard to believe, but we had 5 landlords in a row sell a house right out from under us. We were GREAT tenants, but the landlords had problems in their lives (divorce, failure to pay taxes, etc.) and WE ended up paying for it by having to move. It’s a huge pain in the ass and I totally empathize, but, in the long run, you’ll find a great new place and you’ll be happy and you’ll wonder why you were so upset. The last “landlord dump”, because of his divorce, forced us into buying our own home. We thought we could never do it, but with lots of finagling, we managed. Maybe you can too! Good Luck and happy house hunting! Think creative financing, VERY creative. You’d be amazed at what’s out there to buy and the deals that can be worked to allow you to buy it.

  47. metalia

    Oh, I’m so sorry, Y; that sucks.
    That story, however, is the sweetest thing I’ve heard in…well, a long time. It’s amazing, the stuff they can teach us.
    It WILL work out.

  48. Shari

    Surreal… I, too wrote a post about how darned ugly (and dirty) my cabinets were when we moved in here. I too have moved three times in five years thanks to gutless, unsympathetic landlords upping and selling with a modicum of notice.
    I always grow to like the new place quite a bit though, so take heart and be encouraged! You have an amazing family, and that does not happen in a vacuum. 😉

  49. rose

    One more thing:
    speaking as a landlord, there is nothing better than a good, long term tenant. It also sounds like he was never big on taking care of the maint. stuff. You can check different websites and find out how much he paid when he bought it. The house has appreciated over time. He is going to make a lot of money, and he has been able to do that because you were good tenants for a long time, and he didn’t have to invest a lot.
    I also say this as a londlord: It would behoove him to grease the wheels a little here. If you didn’t move out in the 30 days, and close of escrow is held up, it could cost him the deal. It does not benefit him to start eviction proceedings, because the wheels of justice move slowly, and he might lose! And he doesn’t want to tell this buyer or the next that he is in the middle of court proceedings.
    For all the people who might look at this as cheating, it’s not. He is not being a decent human being here. His property is more valuable because of Y and her family’s tenancy, and he can throw a couple of thou their way so they can pay the 1st, last and security needed somewhere else. He should have made the offer to begin with.

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