On January 1st after we had pried the last of the drunk teenagers from the house and the hangover from our ‘thank god 2020 is over’ party wore off, Mr18 packed up his room and went to live with his girlfriend in the city.
It was closer to job opportunities and most importantly for him it had consistent wifi. He said he felt bad for leaving, given the cancer and all but we gave him our blessing with the promise this would always be his home and he could come back anytime.
Hubby and I were sad to see him go but also aware that now we were reaching the easier years of parenting, down to just the three kids at home, 17 has a job and a car so really it was just 15 and 12 to worry about. How time flys, 6 more years and they’d all be adults.
The dream of holidays, peace and quiet and a sense of freedom finally felt close enough to touch.
Miss 12-going-on-16 had taken approximately 3 minutes to claim 18’s larger room as her own and before the sun had set that night she’d officially moved herself into it. Now you need to know that our house is quite big but it’s a very run down, very old farmhouse in desperate need of total renovation. Hubby is a tradesman so buying a renovators delight sounded like a good idea at the time, but in the 10years we’ve lived there we’ve been to broke and too busy so we’ve barely made a dent.
We get sporadically inspired and are great at enthusiastically starting new things, but not so good at finishing them. We so far have done half a deck, most of a kitchen, 3/4 of a lounge room and some of the ceiling but what remains is overwhelming and it gets to a point where it all feels too hard and too depressing so we put our rose coloured glasses on and try to pretend we aren’t living in a building site.
Because she has her father wrapped around her little finger Miss 12 somehow convinced Hubby that we should do her new room next and because paid work has been a little slow and we happened to have the materials required already on hand, he agreed to start that right away rather than finishing any of the 10,000 existing projects. This pissed me off a bit I hardly saw her room as priority, but these days getting Hubby to talk about the renovations without some sort of sexual trade off is hard difficult enough, so who am I to stand in the way of potential progress? Miss 12, knowing our habit of not completing things, took it upon herself to project manage and she’s doing a great job. She demolished the shitty multicoloured built in wardrobe, ripped up carpet, tore off gyprock sheets, pulled nails and put in insulation and even helped her father install the new window. Not a bad effort at all and as she’s currently sleeping in the family room and her stuff is fucking everywhere we are all pretty keen to get it finished.
A few weeks ago Mr 17 asked if his mate Red could possibly move in with us. Red is a good kid, we’ve known him for years and he currently works full time as an apprentice carpenter in a nearby small town. He’s family has had its share of domestic dramas and his mum has just had to move rather suddenly but it’s too far away for Red to commute to work. So we agreed, with 18 gone, what’s one more?
Given the renovation situation, the plan is for Red to temporarily sleep in a caravan next to the house while we convert my study into a bedroom for him and this other weird room that’s tacked onto the house, into a study.
Today 18 and his girlfriend Raven came up for lunch, after talking for a while they explained they were having dramas where they were living and long story short now they’re both moving back in with us and bringing their cat. So we’re going to have to figure out how to cram them into 12’s tiny old room until 17 gets his shed sorted out so they can have his room…
So somehow we’ve gone from having 3 kids last week to having 6 kids and an extra cat this week all while trying to renovate, work and survive chemo treatments. This is going to be interesting.