Friday, December 17, 2010

Estate Planning Before Its Time

On the way to school today, The Babe piped up with the following question:

"Mom? When you die, can I have the house?"

My brain: "HELLO? I'm 44! Estate planning isn't even on my radar screen, kid!"

I let out an audible "HA". It was the same sound you hear when you are in mixed company and someone tells a blatantly sexist joke and you can't believe you just heard what you did. And now you have to decide if you are going to call that person out or deck them. But, you pause, hoping someone else will do the dirty work.

The only other person in the car was Hooman. He had the same reaction except he was laughing.

After a second or two of processing this I said: "Geez. Don't you think you could have asked a little more politely?"

Hooman: "Yeah. She's not even close to dead. Yet."

My brain: "Great. Yet. Implication: soon, old woman. Your day is coming, soon."

And in almost the time it took me to draw another breath, The Babe responded, cool as a cucumber: "Mom? When you die, can I have the house? PLEASE."

Now Hooman and I are laughing so hard we are both about to cry. The Babe is totally confused, but laughing, because the two big buffoons in the car think what he said was funny, but still doesn't get the joke: "I said it nicer! I said 'please'."

"True. But that's not exactly what I meant."

I launched into a relatively vague conversation about what generally happens when a Mommy and Daddy are old, with great emphasis on OLD and IN THE FUTURE and NO TIME SOON, and they have a house to leave to children.

I explained that the house will be theirs. And that's when Hooman said the sweetest thing: "We won't ever get rid of it, Mom."

I told him how much I appreciated him wanting to keep the house but that Daddy and I would understand if all three boys would prefer to sell it. I didn't want to create guilt when I finally do keel over a la: "When I was 8, I told Mom I'd never get rid of this house, so we can't."

But, mostly, this conversation reconfirmed to me that our wait for this house, with all the missteps and "almosts" on other houses and even the 'You're STILL remodeling?' comments, was the right one.

We worried that the kids would be too bonded to the old house by the time we moved. But this little statement by Hooman told me that a new bond had been formed. Our new house had become a home. A haven. And that is exactly what we looked for all those year we looked, prayed, looked again, prayed again, and waited for the Lord to lead us to "the one".

Thank you, Lord, for funny boy comments and a house so cozy it has become "home".

And, Babe? I have my eye on you. And I know a cop. I expect to be around a good, long time, so don't get any ideas!

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