"The best things in life arent things" – Art Buchwald
Over the weekend my fiance and I attended a number of open houses and also had a few private showings arranged by our real estate agent.
We saw a few lovely homes. We saw some crap. We stood in disbelief at the state of some homes and questioned why the sellers agents had not advised the sellers a bit on proper staging. We were told to take off our shoes in one home. I hesitated. I had worn sandals and was genuinely concerned about stepping on the floors of that home. They were THAT dirty.
We marveled over the listing prices of certain homes, particularly in this down economy. I salivated over certain decor and paint colors. I imagined my sons playing hockey on the streets. I visualized a family gathering on a dark brick patio.
After we completed the showings and returned home to my apartment, I realized how different this home shopping process was from that of years past.
I owned three homes with my ex husband. The first was an adorable McNeil Colonial. The second was a monstrously sized center hall Colonial and the third was a small split level. Each time we shopped and moved, I thought of my daughter.
Would she approve of this house?
Would her adoptive parents?
Would I be deemed worthy of knowing?
Would my Scarlett letter status be less visible when it was hidden deep in the bowels of a McMansion?
Would my big monster house (that had rooms with no furniture in them) impress them?
Would she like to visit me here?
It saddens me to think how I lived my life pre-reunion. I invested significant emotional time in the prospect that she would visit, she would care, she would judge me based on how I lived.
Imagine how it now feels, four years post reunion, to realize it never mattered. Not my big fancy house, not my Landrover, not a single material asset made a difference in my reunion.
I feel like an idiot.
I realize it seems shallow to many. Those that find it shallow are likely those that don't understand what it is like to be a mother that is forced to surrender her child because she doesn't have that big fancy house but the prospective adopters with ponies, pools, unicorns and real estate DO.
It became a benchmark for me. A big house made me worthy of having my daughter in my life (after all, it made her adoptive parents worthy, no?) . Iit would make her happy, it would make her like me. After all, it made her happy to be adopted and have that which I did not, right?
Erm, I am going to guess "happy" is a relative term.
I realize now that I am powerless in reunion. There is nothing I can do to influence her to like me, understand me, want to know me. While years ago it seemed to be everything, now I realize my home means nothing.
Oddly, I am happy with that.
For now, as I shop for a new home with my fiance, as I plan a future with him and my sons, I do it for me, for us, for our future.
I am no longer hanging my happiness on the dreams of what if and may be.
I am hanging on what is.
And I am pretty stoked about what is.