Skip to main content

I want to hate our old apartment, but I can't bring myself to do it

We moved on out of the East Side, but I'll miss the view from
that Deluxe Apartment in the Sky.
Yesterday was moving day for my little family. We closed on a house in Detroit a few weeks ago, one with the space we need for a growing-up kid and an active dog. The process for finding a house, having an offer accepted, and getting a mortgage written in Detroit is surprisingly difficult; but ultimately we were successful and I've been itching move in since we got the keys.

There are so many things I didn't like about our apartment. The elevators never seemed to work right, although I was only stuck on them twice in the two and a half years we lived there. Parking was easy, if you didn't mind a big hike to the door. The air exchange system for the building hasn't been cleaned in years, so I've had more sinus issues in the past two years than I'd experienced in the previous decade. The person who lived below us seemed to think our child should only be active between the hours of 9 a.m and 7 p.m.

Apartment living with a dog is pretty tough anyway, especially when one of us had to travel for work in the winter. It was tough to convince Barney that we had to take the time to put a coat on The Kid when he was ready to pee during the polar vortex. Did I mention that three humans and one human-wannabe made the apartment feel pretty damn small?  

I want to hate that apartment. But I can't. 

Gladys and I were taking the the wall decorations down from The Kid's room when we started reminiscing. We moved to the apartment specifically because we knew it would pass the state inspections for foster care and adoption. We had no idea that two months after moving in, we would be getting our first call about The Kid. 

That apartment was where our new lives began. It's where we decorated our first room with her specifically in mind. It's where we spent countless hours rocking her to sleep, and where we read story after story. It's where we would cuddle after her bath because she wanted to be snuggled in her towel for a few minutes before we could put fresh clothes on her. It's where she learned how to climb in and out of bed like a big kid. It's where she started her life with us, and where we started to learn how to be parents.

Now we are in our new home, and it's a place we intend to build at least 30 years of memories in. I'm glad to be here, but the memories built in our two years in that apartment will be with me for a lifetime too. 


Popular posts from this blog

Our family became whole because another family fell apart

A co-worker shared a powerful story from Huffington Post with me today. It was one adoptive mother's account of the days from meeting their birth mother to walking away from the hospital with their soon-to-be-adopted daughter in tow. I almost cried reading it because I can relate to the story in many ways, especially the feelings of uncertainty that are ever present until you see the amended birth certificate in the mail. 
"Bearing witness to her sorrow, I realize BabyMama is also experiencing three days of labor. As we text and grieve, we experience the contractions of the heart and body and mind together." -Kathleen Dennehy 
Our situation was different. The family in the story had to wait for three days in the hospital while the birth mother had to make the impossible decision to surrender her child for adoption. The Kid's foster mom had taken her home from the hospital and cared for her until her birth parent's legal rights to custody were terminated. We met h…

To a generous young trick-or-treater for his kindness

Our neighborhood is unbelievable on Halloween night. Starting about 6 p.m., our street is packed with trick-or-treaters. If you don't start stockpiling candy early, you could go broke trying to keep up with the crowd.

The Kid doesn't really like the trick-or-treating part, she loves to hand out the candy. She ventured out twice, once with me and once with Grandma, but returned because she loved being the helper kid who was making everyone enjoy their holiday.

One young man hesitated at our door after she stuffed a few treats into his bag. If I had to guess, he was about 10 or 11 years old himself. He started fumbling in his bag, pulled out a treat and said, "This is for her since she hasn't been out trick-or-treating for herself."

I think he was a little embarrassed by our effusive praise of his generosity. He didn't have to do that for our little Wonder Woman. She was having a great time and has a boatload of candy from her two tours of our block. But he wa…

A random conversation at the Peninsula Grill

There were four of us seated at the bar last night at the Peninsula Grill, a regular on the end to my left and a couple at the other end on my right. I purposefully picked the middle of the bar so I could watch the Tigers game while journaling in peace. Between finishing my soup and my whitefish arriving, I had managed to fill almost an entire page.  

I write letters to The Kid in the journal. Someday, I will probably give it to her. Many of my letters are simple remembrances of the funny things she said, accounts of the astute observations she's made or me reminding her future self of the giving things she did as a four year-old. Some of the content is about my journey to becoming her Papa, and that can be deeply personal. She's also getting to an age that blogging all of it is no longer appropriate, she deserves her privacy, so I decided several months ago to start an old-school journal to preserve my memories.  
After dinner, which was excellent, I continued to pour my hea…