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.