welcoming a new housemate in their transition to co-op living

Soundtrack in my head: Glenn Yarbrough, “Sunshine Fields of Love”

transition to co-op livingLast week a woman in her thirties and her young son left behind a condo and a significant number of possessions to transition to co-op living and join our community.

This is no small deal–I remember what it was like to leave behind my large studio for a single bedroom. I often joke that with all the furniture I left behind my apartment, the dumpster divers would have certainly named the alley after me had they known me.

Mother and son are currently sharing a medium sized bedroom, but the five year old could hardly contain his excitement for living here.  He has three playmates, including an 18-month old who is quickly becoming like his “baby brother.”

We held a welcoming party for our new housemates last night because we know this is a big deal.  The culture of our house is markedly different from a lot of the student co-ops in town because the transition to co-op living is much different than moving in and out of housing catering to students. This tends to be more of a life change than an address change.

It was that way for me nearly a decade ago.  I have no children, but I was about the same age my new housemate now is when I made a similar transition to co-op living.  Hardly anyone was home when I moved in that day after Christmas, but one housemate was kind enough to go out with me for a drink because she understood that for me this was a big deal.  This was a transition to a lifestyle that has changed my life–a change I continue to be grateful for.

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