Tuesday was the day we settled on our old house. Settlement was set for 4 p.m., and the boys were off from school, but I had my mother-in-law coming over to watch them. Mid-day I got a call from my step-mom who’s also our realtor, and she said that the buyer’s final walk-through had gone well except for one thing: where were the rugs?
Rugs? We had taken everything with us when we moved, and then the house was prepared for sale. We refurbished the outside, sealed the basement, and painted all the walls a neutral color. I had left some junk behind to be tossed, including a rug I had bought about eight years ago. The thing was so cheap that the ink bled onto our white socks every time we walked on it. When we moved into that house six years ago, I bought all new rugs and kept that one rolled up in the attic.
When it came time for the open house, my step-mom unrolled it, along with some other scatter rugs that she often uses in open houses. The rugs were placed here and there, but none of them fit any particular space. So, none of us noticed that the other realtor had slipped a clause about them into the contract under “inclusions.” Who wants other people’s old rugs?
My rug was old and cheap, I don’t really care, but the other rugs had been walked on by HUNDREDS of people in various open houses over the years. Why would someone want those rugs?
I guess the buyer really thought they tied the rooms together.
Anyway, those rugs went along with the deal.
In the meantime, I was dealing with other fires. Edison, our mad genius, had failed to turn in a rather large reading project, that absolutely HAD TO BE HANDED IN by 3:00 or his first semester grade for Reading would be a C. Edison is really great at starting projects, and he thinks big, so big that sometimes it’s hard for us to follow along. Finishing projects, he’s not so good at.
So, there we were, at 2:00, frantically searching for context clues in George Orwell’s Animal Farm. He was frustrated; I was frustrated, but you know, as a mom, you think, let’s just get through this. I’ll help him a little, we’ll turn it in and be on our way. My plan was to turn the thing in by 2:30, swing by and pick up The Princess, who had school Tuesday, and be back here by 3:30 for my mother-in-law before heading to settlement.
It’s always crazy getting out the door. Does everyone have his coat? Got your shoes on? Would you get your shoes please? I don’t know where they are. Where did you leave them? Just get the shoes! Yes, you can bring your DS. Shoes! Meanwhile the clock is ticking. I don’t know why, but it always seems to take 15 minutes just to get out the door, despite the fact that I start saying from the early morning, “Okay we have to be out of here by 2:15.”
So we got out of here by 2:20, headed over to Jake’s school, and pulled up to the door. Edison opened his folder, which was full of different papers, and he says (I kid you not), “Where? Where is my project?”
I don’t think I need to tell you that I was as close to being a mushroom-cloud-laying-mother as I have ever been at that particular moment. My delicate genius of a son had left the thing on the kitchen counter, I guess, while he went to look for his shoes, and then he left it there. LEFT IT THERE!
So I sped out of the parking lot, back down the interstate, into our driveway and got the thing. There it was, waiting innocently on the kitchen counter, and we circled back to turn the thing in.
By the time I got to settlement, I am sure my hair was a wild swirl of strands around my head. We signed the papers and got out of there, happily the owners of only one home.
We all learned lessons Tuesday though. I learned that my fifth grader is not really mature enough to handle the autonomy he has been given. He needs me to guide him a bit, to teach him to be a bit more organized. I have to remember he’s ten, and even though he talks to me like he thinks he’s my equal, he’s not ready to fly solo just yet.
On a separate note: Today is Thanksgiving, and I am thankful for my family. Thankful for good kids, a loving husband and the wonderfully supportive extended family we are blessed enough to have.