Monday, September 19, 2016

The Carpet People

On Saturday, the paintners came. They painted this room and that room. They left. How much do I love when they leave? So much. Leaving means they're done. Today the carpet people will come. Any minute now, they'll arrive in a van and block the driveway. They'll schlep up and down the stairs with big rolls and they'll make things nice, especially the bedroom that has housed two sons over the years. First it was the eldest's room. Then he went to college and the youngest took over, vacating his smaller room. Then he went to college and the eldest moved home. Then... oh you get the picture. The two sons have left their marks on the walls and the rug, taping posters up, spilling Coke on the floor. Pizza stains, ice cream stains. Memorable imprints that never go away unless you paint over and rip out and put in new. "Where are the trophies?" the sons want to know. "Over here, in this closet." "Where are the school reports?" "Over here in this drawer and that box." "Where are all my Harry Potter books?" "In the hall closet, near the towels." "So you haven't thrown anything out?" "I wouldn't go that far." "What did you throw out?" "Stuff you didn't even know was there. Not the good stuff. The good stuff is squirreled away, ready for you to revisit some day. Years from now, you'll open a drawer or a box or a closet, and see the family tree you made in 4th grade, 8th grade and 11th grade. You'll see the team photos from hockey, soccer, basketball; the medals for showing up and playing your heart out. You'll see that picture you drew in pre-school, that kindergarten class photo, and you'll be glad we kept it."

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