Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Don't Know Nothin' 'Bout Nothin'

I grew up in Virginia--southern Virginia. Taaahdwahter. Well, that's partially true. I spent ages 8 to 18 there, but those are some pretty formative years.

I always attended Catholic school. Always. The habit was hard to break, so even grad school was a former Catholic college.

The nuns hated, absolutely hated, when we said "ain't." Which we did. A lot. It was a struggle to get me in shoes and to actually shower regularly.* My neighborhood friends and I spent our afternoons playing in the ditch that ran behind our cul-de-sac, catching tadpoles, minnows and snails, and not paying nearly enough attention to the location of water moccasins and--of slightly less concern--muskrats. Of course I said "ain't." My dad's dad, who lived in Chicago and wore a suit to church and on a plane and would never say "ain't," regularly accused me of being a downright hillbilly when I ran around the house barefoot.

I was always barefoot.

I started wearing paddock boots when I finally got to spend all my free time with horses.

This did not improve the condition of my feet.

I stopped riding horses when I went to college and I had to pay tuition and Georgetown rents instead of show fees my folks had to pay tuition and Georgetown rents instead of show fees, but I went back to being barefoot as much as possible, often while sitting in a tree. I lacked a certain gravitas. Still do, most days.

After college, I kicked my way to a black belt to alleviate stress, lose weight, and feel bad-ass. This did not improve the condition of my feet either.

Today Girl catches sight of my feet and points, exclaiming in horror, "Boo boo!" This tickles husband to no end, although that quickly ends when I punish him by putting my foot on him. Oh, the squeals! Delightful!

This was going somewhere.

Oh yes. Virginia to ain't to hillbilly to barefoot to horses to college to Tae Kwon Do to parenthood to Don't know nothin' 'bout nothin'. The nuns wouldn't have liked that one either, but it surely seems to apply as we navigate the purchase of our very first (as of yet unidentified) house. I would get into the specifics that confuse me, but I don't understand them so I can't.

In the meantime, I pop up to take a deep breath and realize the colossal reality shift we are about to experience. Husband will be back in a War Zone and I won't have to wear shoes. It seems so unfair for him and both so delightful and terrifying for me. Do I really have to do this all on my own? No housekeeper this time? Does he really have to Skype his kids every night? With a bigger time difference? Can we really just take a road trip to see our friends in Tucson? I mean: Can we really just find a pet sitter and then take a road trip to see our friends in Tucson?

Am I ruining Girl? Will she resent this some day? She reportedly stood at the door of her daycare this evening, waving goodbye to each child, declaring Homseni! ("Until tomorrow!") She loves school and is quite good at it.

On the other hand, she was the first child in and the last child out. That can't be good either.

I can't even begin to list the questions I have about Boy. I really hope I don't mess this up.

Oh, the opportunity costs. That's how I'll sum up all of this. Every single bit.

Oh, the opportunity costs.

*Pre-puberty. Figured it out in middle school. Unlearned it in parenthood.

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