We have been so busy that I only just realized, at a birthday party for a neighbor’s son, that we moved back into this house two years ago to the day. Life continues to roll along like a runaway train, we are busier than a Compton ER, and have taken little more than a night or two by the firepit to count our blessings.
Two years later, my firstborn is a 9th grade high school student, currently earning straight As in all AP courses, and this year decided to take up football. Since it’s his first year, he’s not only in JV but also second string – so it’s hit or miss whether he plays, and with the current track record it seems he only plays when none of us can be there to see it. He’s literally a walking, talking encyclopedia of rap – ask him anything, or don’t ask at all – he’ll tell you everything you never wanted to know about MC Ren and Eazy-E, to name a few. He’s got quite a repertoire of profanity that is less from his musical preferences and more hereditary, I’m sorry to say. We’re working on this, and he is unlikely to color your world, thank GOD. He reserves his bombs for me. He has recently been fitted for Invisalign braces and will soon be sporting some new mouth pieces.
Two years later, Ava has begun 5th grade – and the last year of elementary school – and being more of a social creature her grades are mostly Bs right now with a C or two bringing up the rear. When Fred the insulin pump man from our Poker party asked her favorite subject, the little hell-cat said, “math.” I almost fainted. Perhaps she misunderstood the question, because he didn’t ask how she likes to drive mom to drink. She has decided to take up cheer again (first time since we moved) and, while she “hates football,” she loves cheering for it. Thankfully her original decision to be a flyer quickly changed to spotter. She lucked out again this year to share a classroom with her bestie – third year in a row! She’s still playing clarinet, and the new band director is “cute.” Just the other night I heard her rendition of some semi-classical piece that wasn’t too painful to hear, and my heart sang.
Two years later, some otherworldly power (and it was NOT me) lit a fire under Todd’s ass and he finished replacing the drop ceiling in the rec room with sheetrock. He also acquired a projector screen and mounted it to the ceiling, and did some other cool thingys with wiring and even painted a white “screen” on the wall. Now we have our very own home theatre and we didn’t have to pay three grand for it. (He’s awesome like that.) Now, if only I could figure out how to turn it on….
We still have some work left to do down there – like gutting the bathroom and building a bar, and finishing touches on the laundry room and back office – but at least it’s inhabitable and we do spend time down there. Admittedly I don’t clean down there regularly, simply because of its constant “under construction” status, and I refuse to get caught up in an endless cycle of cleaning until it’s all finished.
Two years later, the tenants finally moved out without an invitation from us, and it couldn’t have been better received. (I hope the fireworks celebration didn’t disturb the neighbors too much.) Going into that space for the first time was memorable, as was the stench of dog urine burned into my sinuses. But, alas, Todd nearly gutted it and together we cleaned it up, chose new carpet and flooring, and painted the walls some warmer shades. The kitchen isn’t done, but the space is OURS. And we will not be renting the space out. Ever. Hello guest house!
Two years later, we’ve added a new addition to the household. We are the proud Uncle and Aunt to one nephew who decided it would be more fun to live away from home and go to college. It’s been nearly 4 months and while he may be rethinking his decision, he at least has a room (using this term rather loosely) he can hide in when the natives get too crazy. He recently acquired his driver’s license, which I had the luxury of attending and – while I repeatedly told both him and Todd that my nerves are not designed to be a passenger under any driver and was universally ignored – I allowed him to drive me home from the event, against my better judgment. I only had to remind him twice that I have given birth to two children and thus have a weakened bladder that needs to get home as soon as safely possible. Obviously, the results weren’t too catastrophic. Nevertheless, our new addition has offered me an entirely new window on teenaged boys that is sure to bring me a great deal of inspiring material. Stay tuned.
Two years later, Sabra and Pi are doing well and healthy – though Pi, at 14, alternates daily between leaping deer and catatonically staring into space in the oddest places. Oliver has “maybe” lost a pound or two as the dogs gobble up his unattended food, but he is otherwise fat and happy, and still performing dance routines with Ava for video.
Two years later, - because I just know you’re all dying to know - my ex and I continue our cordiality for the sake of the children. He’s currently with girlfriend #7 and this one, rather than being a registered nurse, actually has type 1 diabetes so I guess he’s finally hit paydirt. (It is a bizarre coincidence, dontcha think?) And he now has his own new addition… what better way to ensure your kids’ longing to be with you than to get a puppy!
Two years later, Todd has been promoted to Full Professor and is working on a personal and potentially very lucrative project. I’m still working the restaurant business – it’s like an incurable disease that might kill you if you don’t take care. I finished my transcription course with honors and applied to several companies, only to be placed on file and hired by one loose screw that made me quit on the first day. I guess you could say I’m disappointed in the lack of available work out there, but then the market just isn’t going to support it as more and more facilities move toward medical scribes and doctors are inputting their own information during patient encounters. I also continue on personal writing projects.
Two years later, I’m still loving where we are and at peace with the decision I fought against for so long. My kids are thriving and that’s what matters most. I love my neighborhood – its beauty, and tranquility – and the people that inhabit it. I got to go to a luncheon that was thrown together to honor a neighbor who’s moving, with lots of great food, laughed my ass off and made some new friends. We’ve had a few nights around the firepit, Todd and I, and we’ve gotten a few day trips in but ultimately – we are still in need of a vacation together. I’m hopeful. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.