Nothing’s Concrete

Today, they are pouring concrete at my house. After living here for nearly five months, I am finally getting the rest of my driveway poured. No, the builder didn’t forget me. This is what happens when you own a “flag” lot – you have to wait for the house next to you to finally get finished before the rest of the driveway is poured. When you see all the heavy equipment that is brought on site to build a house, this makes complete sense. It’s also a pain in the butt.

I am so excited by the thought of a no more gravel being tracked in the house. I realize this might be a fantasy and that the gravel will simply turn to bark dust or dirt or plain ole dust bunnies, but I do like to think that the future will be a bit easier, even if only in how much upkeep is required.

That’s been pretty much the only less-than-awesome part of building my house. The whole process has been pretty painless and what we expected.

It is a weird thing, though. Planning and scheming about what you want in a house and what you hope for in a home.

Because you don’t really pick out that much – most of the process is out of your control if you have a really established builder. Sure, I picked out my cabinets, flooring, tile, countertops and the like, but there were way more things about my home where I came by one day and said something along the lines of, “Oh, so that’s how that’s going to look. Okay, I like it.”

Like you get the impression you are in control of the process but really you only start the process and throw in some information and the whole thing happens and you hope it all turns out for the best.

So far, we couldn’t be happier. The only thing, in retrospect, I would change is that I’d upgrade our carpeting seeing as how Charlie is doing his “whirling dervish” way more here than ever before and big dog + shag carpet = potential for disaster. But that’s no deal breaker, and honestly, he won’t be living here forever. (Cue sad face of pet owner with a 10 year old large breed dog.)

But the completion of the driveway is still making me pretty happy today. A little change to things that feels really noticeable until one day we realize that we forgot to notice it anymore.

It’s the noticing that gets a body, isn’t it?

Last night my dear Biggest had a rough time of it for a bit. Nothing insurmountable and by the time he headed off to bed, things were fine. But for a bit, things were hard. He’s more man than boy anymore, and yet my heart still loves him just much as when he was first placed in my arms 15 years ago.

Parenting him has been a lot like building this home. There was a lot of planning and scheming and hoping. A lot of things being selected but even more of “Oh, so that’s how he’s going to be.” I really had very little control over building him a body or building his character. But luckily, building people is different than building houses. Instead of worrying about carpet colors, you realize how much you like what you never thought to even think about before becoming a parent.

How much I love Biggest never changes, but how I can help him sure has. Last night, sitting next to him on the couch, I remarked how much I missed when he was a little boy and I could still make things better by holding him on my lap and giving him hugs and kisses. Those days are over, I’m afraid.

“You’re just not very good at making things better anymore,” is what he said.

My heart heard every single word and let me tell you, they hurt. But my head heard them as well and recognized the truth in his words. The days of parents being able to fix things just by being present are over for Biggest and Mister Soandso and I. The reality is that parents can’t fix everything.

But we can sit next to our children on the couches of life and be just there.

The path from infancy to adulthood may not be concrete, but it is better when traveled beside someone else. Because nothing is concrete in life aside from this truth: we are better together. And while not all parts may happen when we want them to, and we may notice hurts or hinderings, eventually everything comes together as it should be. And then all we are able to notice is how much that person matters in our travels.

Be well fellow travelers. May all who walk beside you bring you peace and joy.