My sister, who is heavily pregnant, called me a few weeks ago and said she had experienced a hormone meltdown while on the phone with our mother. She was stressing over how soon it was before the baby would come, and how she and her husband still hadn’t bought any of the essentials, like a crib. Mom had told her to calm down and not worry about it. Babies didn’t care where they slept, she said. Why, look at your older sister! She slept in a drawer for the first six months! It’s not that big a–
Wait wait wait, I said. Back up. I did whatnow?
Slept in a drawer, my sister said. For six months.
So I called our father to confirm.
Me: Hey Dad, Brie says I slept in a drawer for six months when I was a baby.
My Father: What? No. It was four.
Me: DAD WHAT THE HELL.
My Father: Oh calm down. It was a nice drawer.
Me: It was a drawer. I was an infant. A drawer is not a crib!
My Father: You’re right; it was also your bassinet and your stroller. When it was hot, we moved the drawer under the picnic table in the shade with the dogs, and when it was nice, we moved it back on top of the table.
Me: I’m pretty sure that’s illegal!
My Father: Nah, today it is, but you’re older than most of those child safety laws. Besides, you like dogs now, don’t you? And dovetailing? It built character.
Me: I’m practically made of psychoses!
My Father: Eh, that might have happened anyway.
So I told you that story to tell you this one.
Apparently, my parents were drawer-poor when I was born, but they figured out how money works. For the last, oh, two decades or so, they’ve been planning for their retirement as though it was a product launch where every detail has to be perfect or they’ll be stuck with eighty-seven warehouses full of unmovable Britney Spears cosmetics.
One of these details is where they will live while still working. Dad telecommutes from our Frigid Homeland most days; he’s looking forward to spending a couple of months a year somewhere warm, but he doesn’t want to buy a second house and he says renting is hurling money straight into a stranger’s wallet.
So, it seems when your daughter moves to North Carolina and buys a house with a lot of land, the sensible thing is to build a small in-law suite in her backyard.
This is the home project I’ve been working on for the past two weeks. More to follow.