Kids, No Chaser

The Night We Bought the House

Tuesday, April 28, 2009 posted by Henri


Your mom packed you kids up along with a bunch of toys and met me after work at the other house, the one that we didn't want to buy but the one we had to see nonetheless because it was on the market and a bunch cheaper than the house we wanted. You kids ran amok in the dark old walls of this wacky home as I looked at all the potential it held. Your mother saw only a dilapidated old house with bad bones. Our agent didn't think much of it either. So we crossed it off the list and left.

We hauled ourselves into our respective cars and caravanned through the winding streets of this great little city, got turned around a few times before finally arriving at the real house we wanted. We let you kids loose again as we sat in the staging and signed page after page after page of our offer. It was dark, and this house too was old and worn down. But it had good bones and I was going to put a new heart into her. You kids laughed screaming through the house, amazed at the fact that you could see one another through different corner windows in the living room.

Finally we were done. The offer was going to go in. And as our agent left, we gathered you kids up and walked out of what we hoped would one day be our new home. We were all hungry and tired. We headed to a local ice cream shop to have our dinner. The thought that this could be our little ice cream shop in our little town was heartwarming. Sure, the reality of any small town usually lies in the dark bits, and kids can get royally screwed in any place U.S.A., but all that we can do as your parents is simply make the best decision that we can, cross our fingers and hope that lady luck is on our side. We hope that you kids can grow up reasonably safe and although we can not prevent you from seeking out dangerous situations, we hope that danger doesn't always have to come looking specifically for you.

We wanted a place that had good public schools yet was close enough to the real world that you kids would not grow up tooooo sheltered. We've been looking for a few years for the right house. Well to be honest, we've been looking for two years to find ANY house in this town that we could afford. We finally found one. She was a wreck. A fine girl that hit some hard times along the way. She needed a heart transplant and some neurological work as well. Oh and she leaks, did I mention she leaks? But you couldn't help but notice she had some class and some dirty grace. She was almost a hundred years old. She was the one we wanted and we did everything we could as fast as humanly possible from the moment we saw her to be at this point tonight. Our agent was on her way to present our offer.

So we sat that night, the four of us, in an ice cream shop eating dinner way past your bedtimes. Your eyes were as big as saucers at all the ice cream in the place. There were college kids from Cal celebrating birthdays, there were local high school kids hoping to one day be those Cal kids. There were older couples sharing dessert. And there were even a few kids that, like the two of you, were up late in disbelief surrounded by sweets. There we were, your parents, knowing that we could not predict the future and understanding that sometimes fate is inescapable no matter what your zipcode is, yet hoping nonetheless that this town could be a good place for you kids to grow up. That night we ate cheeseburgers and Reubens and chicken fingers and fries. And everything tasted better dipped in the little packets of hope that we carried with us. And the ice cream was as sweet as could be.



Blogger Yaniv said...

Taking the plunge -- nice! Of course, moving to the soulless suburbs is pretty bad for your street cred. Says the guy who is moving to the soulless suburbs. Again.

3:42 PM


Post a Comment

<< Home