From Where I Sit – Proud Mama

Here’s hoping that surviving renovations is like surviving childbirth. For the latter, God gave us the gift of amnesia. When we lay our eyes on the precious life we’ve created, all memories of the searing labour pains vanish. We forget the weight gain, the stretch marks, the ugly clothes, the waddling gait. We forget the crippling back labour and the insensitive nurse chiding us through this scariest of events. We focus on the miracle before us and know that, for better or worse, nothing will ever be the same again.

On the renovation front we are now entering new, more intense territory. This week the taping and sanding of the drywall will begin. Is there anything more hellish than powdery-fine drywall dust? I can’t believe the plastic shrouding will prevent it from covering every single thing we own.

we’re down to living with only three base cabinets, one of which is the sink section. This week they, too, will need to go to make way for the delivery of the new ones. Thank God they are already assembled. Installation starts on the weekend. can’t wait to see what challenges that brings!

We’ve had to endure the back-breaking work of demolition and debris removal. I’ve made miles looking for things I boxed up in August. The floors are filthy; dust and dirt have permeated every surface. We’ve made purchases of building materials and supplies. We’ve returned others. To keep the budget from hemorrhaging, we are constantly getting quotes and shopping around.

Because we know that spending more now is the prudent thing to do, our mantra has become ?While we’re at it . . .? we’re trying to anticipate our future needs. As consolation, we think of how when we’re dead, the kids will have a nice country retreat.

Our crystal ball is covered with dust, so we can’t predict an end date–but we do know that this ?labour? has many, many more hours to go. While we’re at it we’re replacing all the interior doors, door and window casings, baseboards, and flooring as well as painting and upgrading the electrical.

We learned that our dishwasher had survived beyond the normal life expectancy of (today’s throwaway) appliances and needed to be replaced. The new granite sink and hall light fixtures were special order items. The laminate has been sitting in a warehouse since September, and one of these days we’ll get the call.

Every waking moment (and a few in the middle of the night!) has been spent thinking, planning, pricing, and otherwise working on this project. Some days I feel that It’s only my body’s covering of skin That’s holding me all together; that everything inside is mush and I would surely collapse if I had the time and opportunity to do so.

Outsiders are excited about our project, much like people anticipate a birth. A few have invited themselves over for the viewing. I haven’t allowed myself to think about the Thank God It’s Over celebration yet. But like any proud mama I’m looking forward to showing off my baby someday, from where I sit.

Hazel Anaka’s first novel is Lucky Dog. Visit her website for more information or follow her on Twitter @anakawrites.