As an introvert, the idea of community or multigenerational living was decidedly unappealing.
It’s my home, my space, my solitude. It would mean potentially compromising on everyday life to accommodate someone else.
But, now that I have experienced it, I cannot say enough good things.
We stumbled into community living.
We had encountered a daycare situation that was no longer conducive to our budget. It was a tough break, but one we had to make – and we had no idea what the next step was. In the midst of that, I was spending time with a dear friend of mine who was telling me about a difficult situation in her life and how she was looking for other options.
Unbeknownst to her, I went home and mentioned her situation to my husband. His immediate response was “When does she start?” We spent the next hour or so crunching numbers and working on a proposal.
I called my friend the next day and relayed our situation to her as well as what we were willing to offer if she wanted and/or needed the job. We asked her to think it over and get back with us.
I heard from her that night. She had discussed it with her parents and it was determined that this was a mutually beneficial relationship.
She jokingly started calling herself our au-pair.
We happen to have a mother-in-law-suite in the basement. It was not being used and was essentially the part that sealed the deal.
My friend has her own space, and she brought her fur-baby with her. My girls have their “Aunt Vevi” who is everything I am not. She has been a part of their lives since before they were born and she knows them as well as their parents. She has walked with us through every one of their milestones and loves them so well. So much so, in fact, that my youngest daughter and I occasionally have arguments about whose best friend she really is.
For the record, she’s mine.
But Quinn would beg to differ.
And so it goes.
We cook meals together sometimes, other times we don’t. We watch shows or movies together sometimes, other times we don’t. There is rarely a time when someone isn’t going to a grocery store and asking what else the others need. We have a community calendar and a group-text. It works for us.
Were there some changes initially? Sure. Did we all have to adapt a little bit? Absolutely.
But I can honestly say that life is so much richer in community. My family is better for it. My girls are better for it. I am better for it. And I am so grateful to the one who was willing to enter into this arrangement even though it could be deemed old fashioned.
To my friend: We have absorbed and adopted you as one of our own. We are forever grateful for you.
Also, please never leave…