I spent the weekend packing up all kinds of things as my husband and I prepare to put our house on the market next month. It has been a roller-coaster of emotions as items that disappeared years ago are unearthed from the detritus of our basement.... Sometimes exhilaration: "OMG, I KNEW I had a set of those when we moved ten years ago!!" Sometimes frustration: "You gotta be kidding me, why do I have three drawers of these things?!?" Or even worse: "Oh, no I di'in't!!! I did NOT wear this! Did I?"
More than the shock of how much STUFF we have accumulated over the years (and then sent to our basement where we could deny its existence more easily), I getting increasingly upset by my husband's off-hand comments about the future of said stuff. He is ready to fire-sale anything and everything. I keep asking him where he thinks we are going to live when we get back to the States in a couple years, an apartment? We'll just have to buy all new stuff; why don't we just pack up all this stuff and put it in storage for the two years we are in England?
I reached my breaking point today when he asked me if we could send the oak highchair (that my parents bought for our first-born 9 and a half years ago) down the road. I told him, NO, we need to keep it so that we have it for our grandkids to use someday.
And then all the pieces of many conversations over the years all clicked into place. And I realized that maybe he and I didn't see eye to eye on what our life would look like when we are 65.
So I said, "Honey, I think we need to revisit our mutual life goals and where we think we're going to be at 65 or 70. I see us in a big old house, a house big enough for everyone to come back home for Christmas or a visit, where everyone can be comfortable." And he starts going on about how much work a big house will be for us to clean and how we're not the greatest housekeepers, anyway, and why would we want all that work blah, blah, blah....
And I say, "Well, I doubt I can say this without bursting into tears, so I don't know if you want to hear it."
And, of course, he wants to hear it.
"We HAVE to have a big house because if we make our house too small and uninviting, then the boys will never come home for the holidays with their wives and kids! We'll be the mean in-laws that no one wants to come see because they have to get a hotel room to be even moderately comfortable...." And I cried like a baby. To the point that Daddy-007 almost lost it. "I HAVE to have a place where they'll want to come back. I don't have a daughter that I KNOW will want to be with me for her babies someday, that I know will be comfortable enough around us. I know it sounds ridiculous to have this conversation when CC hasn't even hit puberty, but it's not ridiculous!" Argh... I am crying right now just writing this. It absolutely kills me to think that I might not have the same kind of relationship with my sons (or at least one of them) that I have with my mom.
I know that some women have wonderful relationships with their MIL's. It's possible. I guess.
But more likely their wives will see me as the woman who mommied their husband and will try and compete with me and I won't be able to help myself when I school their little asses in whatever they choose to take me on in.
OR: I suppose I could learn some humility and just be thankful that there are potential daughters out there, for me, that my boys will bring home someday and I should love them like they were my own, just because my son does.
That seems like a stretch, though, right?
I'm trying to pull out of the funk. I love my little guys so much, but I still need to do a bit more grieving for the daughter I'll never have, I guess.
P.S. Oh, one thing to help turn my funk to funky is the fact that I bought tickets to BlogHer '09 which is happening in Chicago, July 23-35! It should be a blast and I am looking forward to meeting some of these amazing women that I have been lucky enough to run into in Blogland. Let me know if you're going to be there!!