Thursday, August 30th, 2012...9:44 pm

Remodel: Week 16

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I started the school year in exile. The fumes from the concrete sealer kept us out of the house unexpectedly Sunday night, sleeping at my parents the night before school started like it was some flashback to when I was the student in high school and not a teacher. Except this time I was married with kids. I got up extra early on Monday and drove back to the house, getting ready for the first day in the house alone. I applied make-up; I had time and wasn’t spending precious minutes with the two small people in my life. I told my students to notice that I had once worn mascara for them. It likely won’t happen again.

So here is the point in this process, four months in, that I say that I am SO ready to have the rest of my house back. So. Ready.

When I left for Virginia at the end of July and Ken took down the temporary wall that had allowed us to live in part of the old living space, I don’t think I fully understood that we would be living in the bedrooms for five weeks. Actually, I know I didn’t understand that. I thought we’d be back in there when we flew back home. And I also had no idea that the “adventure” of living in three rooms with no kitchen and Ken’s office crammed in our bedroom would seem like a necessity to Ken, an adventure to Nora, a hassle to me and a trap to Miles. I couldn’t have understood that ahead of time, I guess.

So we are here in the bedrooms counting down the days until we can literally live on the other side of these walls. The floor is done. The sheetrockers have been busily mudding and sanding our walls all week. The cabinets are ordered. The countertops have shipped. We can see an end in sight, but no matter how fast it is coming, at this point in the whole game, it isn’t quite fast enough for me.

Miles needs space to run his toddler legs. Nora needs alone time to play with all the toys Miles may/will/wants to ruin. I need to be able to wash dishes without feeling like I’m hiding in the garage. Ken needs to feel less pressure to finish, to work on work and the house and fatherhood all at the same time.

We’ve been spending evenings at the park. We’ve been cooking as much as we can on the grill and the hot plate. We’ve been escaping the confines of the house, spending weekends with my parents. We’re making it work. But I’m tired. I want my space back.

Ken wants me to help him paint the walls this weekend, the final step before we can move back in. On Marlboro Street, in Belmont Massachusetts, almost ten years ago now, we painted walls together for the first time. We chose colors – greens and taupes and whites for the living and dining rooms. We painted our kitchen a bright sunshine yellow. We painted walls that weren’t ours – walls in our rented third floor apartment – walls that were in desperate need of a little love.

This weekend I will help him (if my parents can help take care of the kids) so that we can move back into the main rooms, so that we can have our space back. So that we can feel, perhaps, like we did in those Belmont days, like a little paint can fix anything.

Painting at Mimi and Papa’s

Sleeping at Mimi and Papa’s

Want the back story?

The Plan

The Preparation

Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4, Week 5, Week 6, Week 7, Week 8, Week 9, Week 10, Week 11, Week 12, Week 13, Week 14, Week 15

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