We really do live in a 1-room apartment. That means our living room = our bedroom = the boys’ bedroom = our dining room = our kitchen = the playroom = everything else.
At first I wasn’t so sure about staying in such a small space for 6 months, but is has become another home for our family and a place for learning some things…
You know what people say are the best patience builders: getting married and then having kids. Let me add a third one: moving into a 1-room apartment.
“Mommy, my blanket is hot.”
“Daddy, I can’t find my lion.”
“Mommy, what are you eating?”
“Daddy, can I be done sleeping now?”
The fact that we can’t just close the door to the boys’ room (they sleep in little tents) once it’s time for bed has pushed our patience to its limits, stretched it, and increased our dependence on strength that simply cannot come from us.
“How to live life in the dark while being quiet” has become a new sport for us. Several times a day, at least one child is sleeping while we are awake. That means we need to be creative: Night lights that just emit enough light to make coffee in the morning. Headlamps for reading at night. A sound machine turned to high. Tents for sleeping. Kindles and headphones. Quiet times with God on the bathroom floor with coffee and a hot water bottle. Making sure to do all loud housework while the kids are awake and leaving the quiet housework to when they’re asleep. But one thing I’ve learned for sure: It’s totally doable. We’re still so rich. We still have so much comfort. So, so much.
Yes, we have so much, regardless of how many rooms our apartment has. And we are truly thankful for this place to call home. With what is going on in the world and the unthinkable suffering in Syria and other places, it is a shame to think that we would respond anything but gratitude.
And you know what’s the first thing Judah will do when you come to visit? He will show you around our home very proudly. He did that with our last 2 homes in Spokane as well. I always thought it was very amusing that he would give everyone who came a tour of our house (as short as it may be), but I now think it goes deeper than that. As I pondered in my last post, I am more and more convinced that our children soak up the atmosphere and values that we, as parents, embody. John and I made sure to show Judah and Elias how excited and thankful we were for each home we’ve had. And I am starting to see that it has made an impact on our boys. They have never once complained about not having enough room to play or that they’re friends all have their own rooms with a real door and a real bed. They’re soaking up some gratitude.