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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Bringing Baby 'Home'

This morning as I was scrolling through Facebook, I looked through some pictures that my cousin has posted of her new baby.  As I looked through the pictures, I noticed the background - nice couches, a fire burning in a fireplace, attractive built-in bookcases, and a general sense of somewhere happy and lovely, filled with a happy family.

And then I thought of pictures when I bring my baby home.  Someone else's couch, someone else's artwork on the wall, paint I didn't choose, and a borrowed bassinet.  I thought about bringing home my other babies - same story with every one except Sophia.  And of course, six weeks after that baby comes 'home,' we'll leave for another 'home,' one filled with Embassy-issued furniture and Embassy standard white walls.

There are many many things I love about being in the Foreign Service.  So many, in fact, that we plan on staying with this gig for the next twenty years.  But, just as with any situation, there are downsides.  That's life; nothing is perfect.

And one thing that I realized when I looked through those lovely pictures of a lovely baby in a lovely home is that I'm not going to have that home for decades.  I'm turning thirty in a few months.  Since I left home at eighteen and went to college, I have lived in exactly one location where I owned everything inside.  And that was a little hole that turned from a place for a few months into a place for almost two years.  Every other place I've ever lived in I have had someone else furnish just about everything.

And that's not about to change because I'm too cheap to 1. buy nice furniture 2. pay to have it shipped around and 3. pay to have it fixed after it's shipped.  And I'm okay with that - it comes with the territory that includes household help, employer-provided housing, and weekend trips to Turkey.  So don't feel too sorry for me.

But I do look forward to that long, long-off day when I can ruin my own couches, choose (and pay for) the exact appliances I want, and choose my own dang light fixtures.  One day.


PaulaJean said...

Now that we are in Bogotá, living where we didn't choose the apartment, the furniture, or the artwork, I understand more what you feel. At least I'm not bringing any babies home, and two senior couples are leaving at the end of December (and are not being replaced by anyone, yet) so we can raid what we like from their furniture!

We are absolutely enjoying the marvelous produce, though!!

Unknown said...

I look forward to it, too. Someday. Not any day soon, though. :)

kelley said...

This just proves that "homes" are created by people and not things. I'm sure your children never ask why the walls are different colors or the decor isn't fine-tuned to your personal style. They'll have wonderful childhood memories that will be so different than other kids.

And btw, can you believe we all turn 30 next year? Crazy.

Mindy, aspiring organized expat said...

I've already picked out my wish-list appliance for that 'someday' in 20 years when we have a house of our own.

In the meantime, I am so happy that Facilities Maintenance will come to my house and keep my mediocre appliances running clean as a whistle - something my dear husband will never be able to manage!

Bridget said...

I agree with what Kelley said. We were living in on-campus housing at Middlebury College when Magdalena was born, with approximately zero of our home "comforts." You'll make it somehow!