Changes

Today I took the kids to visit our new town.

I don’t want to jinx anything, but I’m supposed to close on a house July 14.

This has taken major effort. I had to figure out which towns I could afford around here (hint: not many). How far in what direction it made sense to be (for several reasons, but in great part due to my ex-husband’s job, as we need to stay within half an hour of each other).

Then, I had to talk to school staff, SEPAC (Special Education Parent Advisory Council) people, parents with kids in the schools, and so on. Loaded with information and recommendations, I zeroed in on a town near a town my ex-husband wanted to move to.

Time to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Our current town is overcrowded (in terms of schools, and certainly in terms of after-school programs), and we haven’t been able to get a spot in any of the school or town after-school programs (this year was so bad that many of the programs, at registration time, warned they couldn’t accept any new families but could only put them on a waiting list…and some families who had spots last year didn’t get spots this year. It’s bad.).

Anyway, this means we haven’t been able to work regular full-time hours. School pick-up is at 2:30 except on Tuesdays, when it is 1 p.m. Yeah. I work full days on my ex’s custody days, and he works full days on my custody days, and the rest of the time…short days.

Fortunately, my job is flexible and my boss isĀ very understanding, and she works around my schedule so that if I can start work at 5 a.m. some days, she’ll give me assignments ahead of time (I’m a freelance editor in the glamorous world of educational publishing). And I take on extra clients when I can, working nights or very early mornings.

Anyway. Despite my part-time hours, I managed to get pre-approved for a mortgage. I had exactly one week from having my offer accepted to get an inspection and complete my mortgage application (people, let me tell you, it’s a lot of paperwork to download and present!).

The seller was/is fast-tracking the sale. I decided I could keep up the pace. So far, so good.

I’ve hinted to the kids but at this point it’s close to a done deal (*fingers crossed*) and today I brought them out to see their new town/the new house.

They were so excited that they got into the car three hours early and buckled in. OK, then. We drove to the new town and got lunch at the Mexican restaurant (there’s only one. And they’re strong with the upsell game. And the food is mediocre). Then I showed them the ancient diner, and we went to the candy store, where I bought them their first Pop Rocks (yes!! Pop Rocks!! Sugar/dye/artificial flavor/have fun, kids!).

Then we went to the mill pond to fish for awhile, then it was time to see the house.

They love it. There was the SLIGHTEST touch of disappointment that they’d be sharing a room (as they have for life so far), but they loved the bathroom (??) and the yard and the fact that the bedrooms are upstairs (“I’ve always WANTED a house with an upstairs and a downstairs!”), and they’re very excited about owning our own home for the first time.

As in, we can dig in the yard. We can put in wall-mounted shelves. We can paint the walls.

It will be ours.

They’re so happy about it. Then we rented a canoe to paddle on the river, then we got ice cream (their first soft-serve, somehow). Then we got home and I let the younger boy haul the charcoal grill out of the basement, even though I was cooking on our little trusty propane grill, and they roasted marshmallows on the coals for s’mores.

So yeah, we didn’t go camping this weekend, but we did what we needed to.

 

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