Last week I had my day planned. My little guy and I would have our morning together, I would drop him at school via car, then scoot out of Pleasantville the back way to avoid morning small town traffic, then off to Queens…the land of my youth. I was meeting up with my Noel, at her new house. A swoonie kind of morning before the workday began.
When my little guy arrived with his umbrella and I had to break news that we would be driving. Since walking in the rain with the umbrella hook tucked between his legs (“look Kat, no hands!”) was a treat not to be missed…this did not go over well. I told him we were going with a different plan. “Kat, I don’t like new plans”.
Explaining that the new plan meant he could watch my iPad while waiting in the never ending line of cars was a success…until the iPad went into the no internet death spiral. I am clearly not from the iPad generation of parenting. From the back seat it was declared “Kat, your plan did NOT work.” Sigh. Moving to plan number two, I gave him the phone so he could connect dots with his finger. “I did it! Plan number two is better.” Score…the app really did create calm and mental wellness.
After surviving Westchester to Queens traffic there were squeals of delight and many hugs, my brother-in-law (the best architect ever) showed up, and we were off on our adventure. How do you make a house livable for a woman who works long hours from home, her parents, and occasional overnights from siblings and 4 adult “kids”? Needs included three separate living spaces, two sets of washers and dryers, an office, a place to roller skate indoors, a large central space for extended family gatherings, and a darkroom. We measured (did you know you measure from the inside of the window, not the outside frame), made some plans, changed minds, and revisited. Oh the reality show pitch we could create from the situation. Two squeaky, pint-sized, childhood friends from New York City and a poised 6 foot architect from Iowa redesign mid-century modern houses to make them functional for multi-generational family living. Wackiness ensues.
I find it amazing that so many of my friends have their parents living with them. Empty nests and retirement seem to be a thing of the past. This picture…two high schoolers planning their futures…going to art school, working in graphic design, living in Manhattan, having families…we did pretty good with our dreams. As we readjust our mid-life period to include some unplanned situations we hope our kids notice…at least that’s the new plan.