Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Deed Is Done: Pun Intended

Lots of signatures and lots of checks and it’s all behind us. Sort of.

We all went—Nicole, me, the girls and my mother—to the closing. The bank’s attorney, our host, was not exactly what you would call polished. But he did seem avuncular and knowledgeable, two qualities I appreciate in a lawyer. His office was old-school: A Mr. Coffee coffee maker with a foggy brown, overused carafe; a Styrofoam cup with red plastic coffee stirrers; little packets of sugar; a mini fridge in the bathroom (toilet seat up); stacks of papers and files all over the place; thin, worn-out, brown carpet, rubbed almost bare in parts; uncomfortable chairs and really tacky framed Norman Rockwell prints hanging in no discernable pattern on the walls. (I had a lot of time to study the details while Nicole and my mother signed a mountain of paperwork.)

I’ll save the dirty details of this unfolding situation for another day, because who really wants to her me bitch about it again? But I was grateful that my mother did finally offer up a thank you, even if it was buried in a quick goodbye hug. And suffice it to say that some roles have been reversed, officially, finally, irrevocably.

The expense of it all shocks me. First, there are the closing costs, which amount to five figures for forty-five minutes of paper-signing. I know more is going on behind the scenes, but it is ridiculous, how much taxes and fees and commissions add up to. Also, glancing at the bottom line, the whole Truth In Lending page, which basically says you borrow X amount of dollars, but, by the end of the mortgage, you will pay back X plus 300K or whatever it is. So why do we even list a home at a million if, after you finish paying for it, you have actually paid 1.6? Or whatever it is. Truth in lending, aka reality.

I am still trying to come to grips with the situation. There I go, bitching about it again. You would think it would have settled in by now, but it takes me a long time to process these things. I feel guilty, sad, relieved, frustrated, bitter and grateful. It’s not the first time I’ve felt that toxic tangle of emotions. Hello darkness, my old friend. I’ve worked hard to reduce my emotional baggage from a complete set down to just a carry-on. I don’t want to start adding baggage again. And sometimes, this whole situation feels like a lot of baggage. But, as my old therapist would tell me, I have the power of perspective and the ability to not let things like this shape my emotional landscape.

And so I am trying to focus on the good. I have Nicole and the girls, and if that isn’t enough for one person, I don’t know what is. But then I fear you can’t have ALL that good and no bad. It is yet another version of waiting-for-a-shoe-to-drop. I feel like at any moment my happiness will be shattered by…something. Isn’t that what always happens? What if this is the shoe? What if this is the shoe that breaks the camel’s back? (sorry for mixing my metaphors…)

I might struggle still in some moments, as I adjust to mothering multiples and my role in life in general, but I like my life, I am so grateful to be able to stay home with the girls, and I look forward to our future. And I’m learning from my past. Cliché as it sounds, everything happened for a reason. Everything I have been through has lead me to where I am now. So even this, this house-buying event and bail-out for my mom, it is happening for a reason, which may not even reveal itself for many years to come. At least, this is how I sleep at night.

The highlight of the day: Avery, completely oblivious to what was going on on this important day, was in her car seat, quietly holding her hand out, palm up, staring at the sunlight that was shining in her palm. She then tried to eat the sunlight, multiple times. She put her palm up to her mouth and took a bite, then pulled her palm back, seemingly confused as to why the sunshine was still there. My daughter tries to eats sunlight. She IS sunlight, all shiny and pure and golden and warm.

Later that night, when we were home and getting the girls ready for bed, I told Nicole a new idea I had about the bedtime ritual that I thought would be more streamlined. Nicole listened and paused and then—obviously distracted and in work mode, not Mommy mode—replied: “That model is not sustainable. It won’t work.” It is a brief reminder that Nicole juggles several very different roles. It’s funny when she mixes them up at home, but I bet it isn’t so funny if she mixes them up in the office.

Pictured above, I don’t let Nicole pull rank over me in the kitchen. Oh no. Madame Executrix might rule the roost at work, but in our kitchen she has to separate the indigestible corn from the girls’ mixed vegetables, just like the rest of us.

*Updated to add: Holy sick. I was in the ER today with breathing problems. If you want to see a doctor stat just say you can’t breath and stagger around clutching your chest. I wasn’t faking but wow, I got attention quick. More details to come. I will be fine. I am home now and need to convalesce. So if I ignored your emails of phone call, that is why.


Shelli said...

oy Vey! I hope you get better soon.

(um, and you know, for the record, um, they DO sell those frozen bags with the corn already separated out....)

francesca said...

Ack! No breathing is NO good. Hopefully not from the pressure-inducing purchase and family stresses.

The story of Avery trying to eat the sunlight made me teary. That is an image to just stow away for a woe-is-me-day.

I know things can be intense in a couple with young babes at home, but you and Nicole - you just sound you click and work on things in tandem. The house, the relationships, YOUR relationship, the babes, and hell -- corn pickin'! And um, yes, are those special veggies that you like over other frozen ones?

Waiting for the shoe to drop and kick the camel in the butt - that's just what happens in good spells after cycles of trauma/anger. I would say to mine here, "Hello, predictions of crumbling to come - I'm busy trying to watch my daughter eat sunshine." Sounds super cheesy but acknowledging the feeling helps denaturalize it for me. But that's beside the point.

Really really hope you're ok post-ER and breathing with your family at home.

Linda said...

I'm going to try to eat sunlight as soon as it stops raining. It sounds like a wonderful, warm idea.
Thank you Avery! Kids are so darn smart these days...


calliope said...

holy heck! Hope you are ok.

the image of one of your girls eating sunlight is just too perfect and is the best flip side to what you & Nicole just went through.

sending love

K J and the kids said...

Way to end the post with some dramatics girl. Post are you ? Oh and cut down to a pack a day would you :)

Glad everything is finalized with your new house.

Love the sunshine in the hand story :)

Anonymous said...

The title of your post reminds me of a song I LOVED in HS. It was by Lea Andreone, titled "Happy Birthday," and was a song being sung to a parent by an angsty fetus.

Happy Birthday
You're nice and warm
The water's deep
I'm kicking while you sleep
Muffled words I don't understand
But it sounds like talk is cheap

You're pushing hard
It's cramped in here
Is this what warps my head
The lighting's red, the pressure's high
Is it birth or is it death

Made in your image, are you prepared
You are what you conceive
You're my first love
I know you inside out
And what you already ate I'll eat

Naked and lonely
Will somebody hold me
The deed is done
Let's start day one
You're stuck with me

Ahhhh happy birthday

This bloody maze is puzzling me
I can't find my way out
Should I turn back, is it too late
Do second thoughts count

If I can't speak who'll speak for me
Can't even stand on my own two feet
I'm not afraid to ask, will you hold my hand
Leaving here's kind of bittersweet

Naked and lonely
Will somebody hold me
The deed is done
Let's start day one
You're stuck with me

Finally I'm safe, home sweet home
Flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone
So many people, so much love
Hip hip hip hooray, I'll never be alone

Noah's ark didn't show up here
Holy water, I guess I'm blessed
What's the buzz, why the sweat
What's the hold up, why the mess

Soon I'm yours and you're all mine
I hope I'm all you planned
Deliver me, believe in me
Salvation's in your hands

-Posted by psapph0, who can't log in at work

Anonymous said...

Hope your breathing is ok today!

judy said...

Yes. Good and bad are always intertwined.
Hoping that your breathing was just a panic attack (not to say that panic attacks are a walk in the park) and not anything more serious.
healing thoughts coming your way.

Melinda said...

Wow. Great post -- beautiful story about "the baby who eats sunshine" -- but what a scary ending! Hope you are feeling better.

starrhillgirl said...

JFC! I'm glad your er trip is over and you are at home. Whew.

UtRus said...

the paragraph about the sunshine made me cry. so beautiful.

UtRus said...

the paragraph about the sunshine made me cry. so beautiful.