Thursday, July 5, 2012

Shooting your own dog.

If you've ever watched the movie or read the book Of Mice and Men, you might remember the part of the story where the old man's dog needs to be put out of it's misery, but the man can't bear to do it, so someone else takes the dog into the field and shoots it. The old man states moments later that he should have been the one to shoot his dog. After all, he says, "he was *my* dog."

I always remember that part of the movie book. It made an impression on me. And I know what he means.

When you love something you want to come full circle with it. As hard as that may be at times, it is just as important to be there at the end of it's time, as it was to be there at the beginning and for every moment in between.  Our relationship to "things" is very much tied to how they came into our life, how they leave it, and the part they play while they are around.

I was feeling low about all the money being spent on the house. All the time being spent, when we have so little time left in Austin before we board our plane. And why are we fixing up the house just so some random strangers can come in and knit-pick their way to a lower price? Don't they realize how much time and energy and money went into all of this? And they want 2k off because the light fixtures are "old?" Are you kidding me?! Yes, I even got angry at the future, potential, fictional buyers.

Until today.  I was diligently scrubbing the trim and doors with my Magic Eraser, grunting over the blood splatters on the bathroom cabinets from Hejjo's many late night nosebleeds and the many many swirls of crayon drawings on the window sills and bedroom doors and I began to smile, and think...

We could have put in these floors years ago and enjoyed them ourselves but we didn't. We didn't because we knew that little babies were going to be learning to walk. We knew that older children were going to wrestle and we knew that sometimes mommies and daddies would want to get down on the floor and play too. And carpet is better for these things. Carpet was best. We could have painted the walls a nicer color, covered up the marks and stains and dirty hand prints. But we knew there would be more. Because even when the older two grew up enough to "know better," the next two were right behind them, sneaky permanent marker in hand. Letting it go was best. It was fine. The dishwasher worked and no one cared that a couple prongs were missing or that it was really loud, because when it's your turn to put the dish washing tab in, and click the little door shut, nothing else matters.

Instead of investing in new floors, and walls, and fancy appliances, we invested in people. We invested in life.  Our time, our energy, and our money, for the last 7 years, went to that one endeavor. And our house allowed us to protect and love and educate that life in it's very own un-fancy, run down, lived-in way. The best way.

Stripping out the carpet, painting over the hand prints, and fixing all the holes is my way of putting the house to rest. Covering up and removing the life that was there.  Leaving a clean slate for someone else. And I'm glad we're the ones doing it. I'm glad we're the ones spending the money and taking the time and energy, because it has been a big part of our life. An important part. And this is the right way to let it go. 





10 comments:

  1. When I saw the title in the RSS reader I thought for a moment: so this is what they do in Texas when they are moving and can't take their dog with them?

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    1. I am honestly laughing out loud right now at your comment! Oh my goodness, no!

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  2. Beautifully written! We will miss all the memories spent in the house...including the most recent dress-up/dance party wherein Felix was a hotdog and Emily was a "fairy."

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    1. Thanks, Kate! It has been such a good little house. I think I could write pages about what it has meant to us and all the memories there.

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  3. Kathleen from MichiganJuly 6, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Hello, or should I say, "Halo!" in an effort not to make a mistake spelling the other word for hello in Polish, you know the word with too many odd placements of s and z and c for a native English speaker just diving in to the Polish language to get it right without looking it up! Anyway, I am very excited to find your blog. We are in the process of making the decision of whether or not to move our family, 3 children, 5 year old boy, 3.5 year old girl (ironically named, Lena!)and 1.5 year old son to Poland as well. It's been talked about for a couple years... but my husband just got back this week from checking out Poland for the first time as it is seeming like more of a reality. I will officially start homeschooling my 5 year old this year as well and would most likely want to stick with that option in Poland. Can't wait to read through all of your posts and soak up your insight! When things settle down for you I'd love to strike up an email conversation at some point. My email is kajewell@gmail.com

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    1. Kathleen, if you say that you are moving to Krakow as well as homeschooling I might just jump for joy! This process has been long and at times very stressful but we are almost there. It will be worth it, I know it will. I will most def. email you very soon. Responses over the next week will be slow in coming but I would also like to talk with you.

      Olivia

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  4. Are you leaving behind what was left for you in one of the kitchen cabinets?

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    1. We threw that away the moment we found it. And will not be leaving any such gift for our buyers. It's unfair world, I know.

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  5. Hello. Piast Meats & Provisions linked your blog on their FB page and I'm glad I clicked. I've tried to learn Polish as well with very little success. All I've accomplished is shelling out $500 for Rosetta Stone that I don't use.

    I take it you are american and your husband is Polish?

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    1. Yes. My husband is Polish, I'm American. He speaks Polish to the children but I have yet to conquer it. It's coming along, and I can get by. I actually found Rosetta Stone to be a great program but it is really time consuming, which was my biggest problem with it.

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