Monday, September 15, 2014

Up On the Roof

There are many, many aspects I highly recommend about the empty nest phase of a marriage, this phase I've described as "dating without the anxiety." It's awfully nice, for example, to have time for idle chats after supper. Those are the times when Husband and I talk about how we might use all the extra cash we're now swimming in, now that we're past braces (times three), first cars (times four), music lessons (times four kids times two instruments each), incidental school fees (free education times not so fast there), and all the related and sundry expenses that don't include feeding and clothing four boys whose capacity to consume milk and cereal was only exceeded by their capacity for their jeans to instantly be too short the moment they ripped off the tags.

"We could do one of those Viking river cruises," I said excitedly. "You know, like they advertise just before Downton Abbey? Or we could trade in the camper we haven't used in two years on a more tricked-out camper that we would never use at all."

Husband got into the swing of things.

"How about a new table saw? You know you've always wanted one," he said. "Or we could replace the garage, and make it big enough to have a workshop with air conditioning."

And this, my friends, leads to the most crucial advice I can give parents who are within a year or two of the promised land known as Kids All Grown Up: Don't ever, ever, ever talk about having even an extra nickel if you are somewhere your capital investments can hear you.

We forgot this cardinal rule of money management as we were having our post-dinner discussions, and the House on the Corner was listening as we made plans for our post-braces/music lessons/school fees riches last week.

I know we're going to just love our new roof.

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