Sometimes the road to happy is paved with sad. While my decision to become a mom has already brought me a tremendous amount of joy (and I don’t even know how I’m going to do it yet), tonight I’m feeling sad about one of the steps I’ll be taking to get there.
I’ve decided to sell my house.
I really love my house. My heart is kind of breaking.
The first time I walked through the front door, seven years ago, I knew this house was my home. My little Spanish bungalow/tree house is warm, and charming, and I feel safer here than I’ve felt in any house I’ve ever lived in. (And that’s saying something— I tend to be a bit of a scaredy-cat. Not in life in general. Just when I’m lying in bed and there are sounds and shadows that make me think of… this is embarrassing… vampires. I was far too young when I saw ‘Salem’s Lot.’)
I bought my house when I was a low-level writer on “Angel,” (yes, the vampire show) and had no way of knowing if I would have a real career. None of my friends had bought houses yet, and it felt huge and terrifying, and so grown up. For years, most of my furniture was borrowed or given to me for free.
I’ve written half of two books in this house, and more scripts than I can count. I was standing in the kitchen when I got fired off my own show (which was good, ‘cuz the vodka was close). I learned to cook here. I nursed my dogs through surgeries in the living room. I planted my first herb garden. I started this blog. I’ve had more house guests than I can count—most of them in the last eight months. And dinner parties, and Friday Night Lights marathons, and a million hours of knitting. I was standing in the living room when WP called to say she was pregnant. I hugged my dad in the kitchen, having just told him that his best friend had died. The tangerine tree that B’n’K gave me when I moved in (yes, that’s B’n’K, the magic parents) took four years to really take root. It took me at least that long to develop a Spanglish communication system with my brilliant gardener.
And in these seven years, my neighborhood has transformed from what’s politely referred to as “marginal” to being just AWESOME. My salon is around the corner. I can walk to a coffee shop and a bakery and several real, actual restaurants. I can walk to a great hiking trail… or to a park with a little lake and a walking path, if I feel like something flat (this is the park where I saw my favorite piece of graffiti ever: "F*** pigs and gentrifiers." I find this brilliant in ways I can't even access rationally). And an independent bookstore/café just opened up on Sunset WHY AM I LEAVING????? I like my neighbors! What if I never find neighbors I like again????
Okay, reign it in.
I’m leaving because I have a thirteen-year-old lab with arthritic hips, a ten-year-old hound dog mix with two metal knees, and a one-year-old husky mix with severe hip dysplasia. Which is a problem when your house was built on a hill.
But, mostly, it’s the mom thing. My house is perfect for me. I’m not sure it’s right for Mommy-me. Mommy-me has this dream of looking out a kitchen window (or, better yet, French doors) and seeing my son or daughter playing on my flat, grassy, backyard. And if there happens to be a guest house in that yard, I’m fine with that too. Because there’s a nanny in my future.
And I want her to be as happy as I’m planning to be.