I'm sitting in my new kitchen. It's ginormous. (How did "ginormous" pass the spell check?) It's embarrassing, really, how big it is. The other day we delivered a loved crib to a single mama from our church. She has an absolutely gorgeous 6-month-old son with the hugest brown eyes you've ever seen. She lives in a small old house with a rotting porch with her mom, her older son, her little baby, and perhaps someone else - we couldn't tell. She and her mom were lovely and very grateful for a crib for their little sweetheart.
We dropped off the crib at the non air conditioned house and hopped back into our comfy, cool minivan to return to our new home where Granny was caring for our boys, much as that little baby's grandmother likely takes care of him sometimes, too. As we drove off I realized how embarrassingly comfortable we expect to be as a family.
In Austin we lived in a 1400 square foot house with two little boys. It was tight but we were determined to make it work until we could pay it off. People live with much much less space, obviously, and although we occasionally longed for a bigger place to spread out (mostly for a bigger kitchen), we were all happy there.
Enter a new city with a much lower average housing cost. We rented a big ol' house (to us) for a year, put an offer on this place in April, closed in June, and leased back to the original owners for two months. Now we're in our new home and are really happy to have more space. But we really aren't any happier than when we had less space.
I know as middle-class Americans we have much more than we need and are terribly spoiled. I know that "on paper," but dropping off the crib at this mom's house was a tangible reminder of how blessed we are. We could be wealthier, but we couldn't be richer, and we wouldn't be happier.
I would be happier if it weren't football season. (Just kidding, darling.)