We spent the weekend checking out apartments and townhouses for the art school girls! Four of them!
After one year of student housing - sharing a tiny studio with another student AND the fact that none of them were privileged to win the lottery for on-site housing, the girls are looking for their own digs. (This is actually a good thing, we think)
What an exciting, emotional and frustrating experience this has been. Exciting in that in brings back memories of my young adult self living in the city in a cool townhouse with three other girls. The little known small streets of Philadelphia, some cobblestone, some paved over but too narrow for cars, unknown, quaint little neighborhoods to explore. I remember living on Rodman Street. No one has ever heard of Rodman Street. It was an adorable little street!
Several years ago, Doug and I took the girls on an adventure...a train ride to Philadelphia to see a production of the Lion King at the Academy of Music. We rented a hotel room and walked to the theatre. The best part was the hour or so to kill before the show. We walked around the Avenue of the Arts neighborhood and I showed my girls my old townhouse on Rodman Street. A sign in the window read, "Frodo lost, Bush stole the Ring."
I believe that little detour stirred something in the daughters. Annelise enthusiastically applied to the University of the Arts and lived about four blocks from my old townhouse.
Today we place an outrageous deposit on a townhouse rental in an outstanding neighborhood two blocks away from my old house.
The place is perfect. The girls are worried that it is too nice for them. Split four ways, it is still cheaper than the University housing.
This is emotional because I started here in so many ways.
This is frustrating because the first apartment we looked at didn't work out. I am working with three other students and three other families. We all want our daughters to live in a safe neighborhood. We all want them to live in a nice place. I have one Mom with whom I see eye-to-eye. We agree on everything. I have another who is in Wisconsin and is worried about price. I have another who is a bit of a ______neurotic head case. No I didn't say that. (Yes I did.) She finds fault in everything. I have tried to convince her that all of these wonderful places are cheaper than what the university was charging. She just doesn't seem to get it. I do not want to alienate her daughter. Mine thinks the world of her, but the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
So how to parent and negotiate and navigate and stay focused, but not overwhelmed is a challenge.
I keep obsessively checking my email. Yesterday I received about 10 messages on this issue. There is in-fighting and shit going on between them. I don't want to get into the shit! I just want to be settled in an apartment!