When Andy and I decided to buy a house 6 years ago, we entered what turned out to be a very painful process. It was early in the boom, and it was clearly a seller’s market. We found one house that we loved, but financially it was out of reach. (We were informed that we could use a combination of two mortgages, one with a balloon payment, to make it work. We would just need to refi after a few years to make it work. I’m so glad we didn’t do that, but I do still love that house.) We kept looking and found another house we liked. We put in an offer, and were outbid in hours. We found another house and lost it in a bidding war, then another. That was four houses that we tried for, but couldn’t get. It hurt. I really thought about giving up, but then the centipedes invaded our apartment after a shipment of mulch, and that motivated us to keep going.
After several months, we had the whole process down. We drove around frequently to see if we could catch open house signs before houses were even listed. We saw one in a town home community that we were interested in and gave our realtor a call. We walked through the door at 1:00 on the dot, and started the tour. We couldn’t believe what we saw. It was perfect. It was our house. Andy and I didn’t speak a word as we walked through the house. We just kept glancing at each other, confirming that we liked what we saw, but we were too afraid to say anything because we knew that, like the previous houses, we could loose it to the highest bidder. We waited until we were in the car before risking words. “Let’s put a bid in for it.”
We got the house and I cried with relief.
Michael seems to be adjusting to his new nap-less routine and has been pretty pleasant lately so we decided to take him out to dinner on Saturday. He’s been eating pretty well so I actually ordered him a kid’s meal instead of just fries. He dug right into his grilled cheese with a hearty appetite. Andy I just sort of glanced at each other. Is this for real? Andy decided to push his luck and offered Michael a piece of chicken. He ate it. Andy flashed his eyes towards me, questioning if this was really happening. I just raised my eyebrows in response. Next, I offered Michael a piece of steak. “That’s yummy!” he explained after scarffing it down.
Andy and I continued to give each other looks throughout the meal. We were both clearly excited about Michael eating food like a normal person, but just like with the house, we felt that it was so tenuous that even speaking a word could ruin it. We suppressed our joy through the entire meal, never letting on to Michael how happy we were. Later that night, long after Michael was in bed, Andy finally got up the nerve to mention it. “He really surprised me tonight.”
“I know he surprised me too. It was really nice.” I responded. Then, I thought to myself – and let’s never speak of this again. Or at least until he's a teenager and is eating us out of house and home.