For this young family who live in an the apartment above the art centre they own and run, work and home life are intertwined.
How would one define a “normal” family these days? Long forgotten are the picket white fences and the housewife waiting for her husband to get home with an iced drink in one hand and a roast in the oven. Did I perhaps imagine this forgotten past for my own family? I can’t deny that as a little girl I imagined a picket fence life, but today there is definitely no white fence around my house and I’m just fine with that. In fact, my house happens to be much more than just a house—it’s a building where both my house and work reside.
I had a dream since I finished graduate school. I wanted to open an arts-based centre, a place where one could feel inspired to create, to grow their sense of creativity. It was a big dream and a somewhat risky one, but isn’t that what most dreams are?
Then I met a man, we fell in love, got married and decided there was no time like the present to try to follow dreams. So we bought a property zoned residential/commercial and the idea was that we would live in an apartment above the centre. We got possession in June 2011 and we opened the doors in September 2011. Initially my husband was not as involved in the centre as he is today however, he has always been its number one fan. And without his commitment, support and unconditional love, the centre would not be what it is today.
Since we’ve opened the doors to Seasons we’ve had a baby (not such a baby anymore—he’s two and we have another one on the way). We don’t have a typical urban two-income family by any standards. We are both working from home, we spend a tonne of time with our son and have built programs around our schedules.
And we’re both involved with other organization outside of Seasons. My husband is an advocate for mental health and addiction treatment, and I run play therapy groups at a non-profit.
It is definitely not always easy. There are days when we wonder what we’re doing, where we’re going and what will it look like with another little one. However, those days are few and far between. Most days we are so grateful for the small community we have created, for the environment we are providing for our child, and for the lives we live. Plus we are eternally grateful for our 10-second commute to work in the morning.
When asked the question who is in my family a straightforward answer would be there’s 3.5 of us (one more due in May). But that would be very far from the truth. My family is made up of lots and lots and of children, from babies to big ones; it’s made up of teenagers and adults and even grandparents. We open the doors to so many wonderful people, and share our space with them on a regular basis, that it’s impossible not to consider them part of our family. As our immediate “little” family is growing so is our “bigger” one. And although we definitely plan to cap our little family at four, we hope to never put a cap on the bigger one!
This is #1000families post number 45. Do you have a family story of your own to contribute to the 1,000 Families Project? Or do you know a family that might want to do so? Learn more about how the series got started and how to get involved here. You can find all of the #1000families posts here.