Our living situation is pretty unique for a family of four, and it's something for which I am very grateful. In January, we will have lived in this situation for two years. It's going so well, we have every intention of trying to stay here as long as we can.
What's this unique situation?
We live in a college dormitory.
Not your typical dorm room, mind you -- all four of us are not cramped in a single room, sleeping on bunk beds. We have a nice little three bed, two bath apartment in the staff and faculty wing of the residence hall. It's actually a step up from the small bungalow we used to own, both in square footage and in layout (we gained a bath *and* a bedroom when we moved here).
Sure it has its hassles (visitor parking is inconvenient at best, it is occasionally noisy, especially after finals) but all told, it's nearly perfect for us at this stage in our family life. The kids walk to school, S walks to work, and the financial benefit allows us to continue having me stay home. We don't have a yard of our own, but we are surrounded by lovely grounds (and we don't have to mow a lawn, ever!) and we have lots of perks (the pool in walking distance, athletic events to attend like the soccer game we went to today, even cafeterias for food if we're so inclined). Sometimes I get a little sad that we're not bringing up the kids in a home of our own -- especially when I think of my own parents, still living in the house in which I grew up, and all the roots and memories that such a situation allows. But that kind of stay-in-place stability is very rare these days, and it would be unlikely to be ours even if we were living in a home. And as S pointed out, while we may not be giving them memories contained in the same set of walls through their lives, we are giving them a really unique experience, filled with equally valuable memories. True, that. And definitely something to be grateful for.