Son met me for sushi the other night and said with great fanfare that he had good news for me. It was about the pile of stuff he had piled in our basement in a big pile. Both my kids claimed their own corner of the basement when they came home from college, and both corners are still filled. I empathize with Daughter that she lives in a 500-square-foot Manhattan studio that holds no room for all her treasures and mementos. Over the past seven years, she’s made it a point to continually mention that she’ll be listing everything on Craigslist very soon. Roughly translated, that means the next homeowners will have to deal with it. Whenever she visits, she travels down to the basement and removes one thing from the pile to bring home with her. It’s always something that fits in her pocket or backpack. At this rate, Craigslist will be CraigsGrandsonsList by the time she gets around to posting anything.
Son I feel fine about nagging since he owns a whole house all to himself. Every time he mentions he’s knocking down a wall to enlarge something or breaking through a closet to get to the other side, I say enthusiastically, “That’s to make room for all the stuff you have in our basement, right?” He always smiles, pats my hand or my head, and says, “Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about that.” This has been going on for years. And lack of result has not been for my lack of trying. Sometimes I’ll send him an email that says, “Hi! How are you doing? Come get all your stuff.” or “Sorry to bother you at work, but all your stuff caught fire. Please come get your ashes. Love, Mom.” Because he was raised right, he always answers immediately. He writes, “Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about that.” I’m left to pat my own head and keep walking past the piles.
But during sushi on Wednesday night, Son brought the subject up first, and I jumped on it like paparazzi on Brad Pitt. “What day are you coming?” I asked excitedly. “Sometime in 2011,” he answered. I just looked at him. “Are you kidding?” I demanded. “I’ve been asking you to do this for like five years.” He brushed my impatience aside with a blithe wave and said, “Which is why you should be glad it’ll be happening in the next 12 months. That’s a pretty good return on your wait time, statistically speaking. You’re coming to the end now. Think of it as senior year.”
He then followed me home to help me reposition an air conditioner and survey our latest bout of home improvements. While looking around, he informed me once again that the house he grew up in is still the best example of harmonious suburban construction and comfort he has seen thus far in his 26 years. Or at least it will be once we get the kitchen redone. If we keep putting it off, it will just be one more thing he’ll have to take care of once the stars align and he is the home’s rightful owner, with Husband and I enjoying our golden retirement elsewhere. In those halcyon years to come that Son delights in dreaming about, I hope he sets aside a good chunk of time to move all his stuff back into the basement. Right next to his sister’s.
Daughter’s Featured Fotos offer up Revisionist Art