We bought this house in October of 2000. On Halloween, we moved our toddlers into our new house, vowing that we were going to make this structure our home. Almost 2 years later we brought our last baby home, establishing this as her first and only childhood home. A decision I have never regretted.
I know that in the day and age that we live in, families move. Job transfers often require a cross country move that uproots and entire family. When this happens, obviously a family has no choice but pack up and move on. Sometimes that is a good choice, sometimes it is not. We are fortunate. My husband has a very stable job that will in all likelihood keep him here in Milwaukee. Unless something terrible happens, he is set. Given that he is in the financial industry and he weathered last year's storm. I think we are safe.
So, why do I insist on staying where we are? We could move to a different suburb, build a new house, find a house that doesn't require so much work or find something that is more practical. It is simple. I want my children to have a place to call home, forever. When they talk about their "home" as adults, I want them to remember our house and community as that home. I envy the fact that when they graduate from high school they will be graduating with people they have known since they were 4 and 5 years old. When they go to high school reunions as adults, those reunions will mean more to them because they will be able reminisce about events and memories from childhood. They are establishing bonds with their peers that will likely last a lifetime. Even if after they graduate they don't see those people ever again, they will remember them. By doing this, I believe I am giving my children roots. They will know where they came from. That they were raised in a home where family was what was most important. With friends and community coming in closely behind.
Maybe I am naive. But, I hope I am not. There was a time when family, extended included was took precedence to everything else. When grandparents, aunt, uncles, cousins and siblings were active in the raising of children, giving us pride in where we came from. I think it is sad that so many of us have moved away from that tradition. Myself included. But, maybe by taking one small step, like having my children live in one home for their childhood, I can help my family move more toward tradition.