Monday, September 28, 2015

Movin' On Up (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Condo)

Free BBQ! (Photo Cred: Cousin Carrie)

Before I left for Virginia, I told Asher that he couldn't move out. The parents had already talked about selling the house and moving into a condo downtown. Ash was the last bastion of defense. As long as he lived at home, my Mother would never downsize and leave her son on the streets (the Dad was neutral on the issue). But it only took a few months before a slippery Argentinian named Dan persuaded Asher to move in with him (it's actually very easy to get Asher to agree to something - as long as the conversation is long enough, he'll stop paying attention and start nodding his head). But the nod turned out to be legally binding, and before you knew it, my childhood home was on the market.

I didn't panic yet. I still had two sisters in the game who could exert some influence. Surely Dani and Lisa could talk the parents out of exchanging our memories for lake views and subway accessibility. But the hardcore fans of this blog will remember that Dani is a wildcard who answers to no one. And even though there was no ice storm to assist her treachery this time, she still decided to go ahead and be a great real estate agent and garner multiple offers on the house for the parents. I don't know where Lisa was in all of this. Probably sleeping. 

So the house was sold and it fell to Hallie to convince the buyers to withdraw their offer before the grace period ended. Sadly, her negotiation skills were just not up to snuff. Either that, or the buyers had played "Where Has Elmo Gone?" before and weren't falling for her tricks. Avery wasn't born yet, so we didn't have the good cop/bad cop option that I am certain would have cracked these people. 

My contingency plans exhausted, I had nothing left to do but mourn my loss. I thought about all the simple pleasures this house had given me. I loved the way my Dad fussed around at his "snack station" and the way my Mom announced that she was home with such relief every time she came inside. I loved the way Dani sat on the stairs to greet anyone who arrived home late at night, the way Lisa danced in the kitchen, and the way Asher always said "come in" when I knocked on his door, even when he was asleep. I loved the way we all left notes for each other on the message board and how we never figured out the optimal way to load the dishwasher. 

And then I realized that Avery had been right this whole time! Those memories weren't about the house, they were about the people inside of it. True, it was our family home, but the family would still be together in the new place. And who knows what other little things I'd come to treasure about the way we inhabit the condo. That's one smart baby. 

"When I think of home I think of a place where there's love overflowing." - The Wiz