I have been
lying avoiding the truth for quite some time now. It's not that I'm ashamed. I'm not. I'm actually very proud.
But when you are, by far, the youngest family living in an affluent neighborhood filled with uber successful lawyers, doctors, and business executives all of whom used hired help for the slightest leak from their Kohler sinks and you do not... you begin to learn how to fit in, by avoiding the truth.
"I knew someone moved into the old Kessler house when I saw your lawn boy mowing the lawn." The retired school teacher in the cul-de-sac greeted me, three years ago. "Oh. That was my husband." I blushed. "Oh. Oh my... he is. Um. Very young." It was her turn to blush.
Two winters ago, when we were buried under three feet of January snow, the surgeon across the street noticed that my in-laws car was stuck in a hand shoveled snowbank so he attached an automated pull wench to his Land Rover and pulled them to safety onto our horse-shoe driveway. "You should fire your plow service." He joked and we giggled in unison knowing very well that my husband spent the morning shoveling the driveway.
Last spring the entire family worked together pulling out weeds, chopping down dying branches, sprinkling mulch, and planting some pachysandra. "Your landscapers did an amazing job with the spring cleanup." An incredibly fit jogger ran in place breathless and offered the compliment. "Thanks." I smiled and hid my filthy unmanicured fingernails.
How did we end up being the youngest family in an established neighborhood? We married in our early 20's (he married me, an immigrant, who is always yearning for more and more of that American Dream) and I pushed, screamed and answered "Why can't you be happy with what you have?" Well... because I spent half my life waiting in lines for days old poultry and now that I have many choices I would like a swanky pedestal sink.
Together we invested in real estate early on and meticulously rehabbed two homes in dire straights of a remodel to Pottery Barn perfection making a killer profit before the ages of 28. By ourselves, with the guidance of our parents. So here we are at 31 and 32 or maybe even 33 (it's easy to lose count) living in our dream house on a tree lined Ohio street overlooking a calm pond with three children, lovingly tending to our home ourselves.
All of this leads up to present day when in February our dream house was flooded and I have, since then, been actively
lying avoiding the truth about our remodel. "I am unable to attend, I have to manage the construction." I reply to just about every social invitation.
We are in the midst of a complete remodel of our expansive main floor. New mud room. New kitchen. New wide plank wood floors. New ceiling. New paint. New lights. Have you met the construction team that I manage? Jay has demolished every wall. Lola has organized the nails in patterns. Fifi has learned how to climb a ladder. I have learned how to paint trim. My husband and his father have taught us all.
Each pipe that has been re-directed has my husband's and father-in-law's fingerprints over them. The exposed wooden beams that frame our house have permanent doodles left over by my youngest artist. My honest first born smiles with pride when his play dates see all that he has demolished and ask, "Did you really use a crow bar?" And the middle child, oh the middle child, she skips over the missing tiles in our kitchen and asks when we can return to the Home Depot so that she can stare at the nationally based paint ad her face is plastered over as the model (starts with G and then lid and ends with den).
This home. Is the house that love built.
So. The next time a curious neighbor stops me on the way to the mailbox on garbage day and asks, "I see you are remodeling. How exciting! Who's your contractor/interior designer/plumber/electrician?" I will come out of the closet and show them a framed collage of photos documenting our hard work that will hang on the walls of my pale grey mudroom, over my perfectly tiled new floors, next to the bench it took me weeks to design and from head to toe I will be overjoyed with pride.
This is our home.
To all my friends... so sorry I have been MIA as I have been busy "managing." To my classy neighbors.... so sorry for all the late night drilling/sawing/pounding, I promise we are quasi normal folks.
Friday, May 01, 2009
I have been
Posted by OHmommy at 12:00 AM