Photo: Old colonial architecture and beautiful autumn colors–Autumn in MetroWest Massachusetts is perfect marriage of two things that I absolutely love.
My lesson for the week: Ask the right questions. Unfortunately, a lot of the times, the answer is really, really not what you wanted.
I’ve been asking all week, “do you think that the shutdown will have any impact on our home purchase?” And I’ve been told, “no, probably not.” FHA loans are processed by banks with authority to do stuff without Federal employees, I was told. A lot of the stuff needed for processing is already in, I was told. We have other things to worry about, the shutdown is just a faraway thing, I was told. But when I turned on the news on Wednesday afternoon, I overheard a little tidbit while chopping onions and peppers: “People who are expecting to close on a house within the next few weeks may not be able to because the IRS is no longer processing 4506-T forms, a required document for all mortgages…”
I tell my husband when he gets home. I ask him if we’ve done said form. “I don’t recall,” he answers. He’ll ask the mortgage guy tomorrow.
I send the husband a reminder. Email the mortgage guy. Ask him specifically about the form, if we’ve done it, and if we haven’t, how bad could this be? We’ve already had to get an extension on the commitment, and we’re still on track to close October 25th. Are we about to run up on a problem? The Husband sends a very specific email.
The non-specific answer: “It does have the potential to delay all current mortgage filings…we’re assessing and will keep everyone posted.”
Why can’t you just say yes? I’m reading that as a yes.
I’m too tired to rage about the house today. The Fates are cruel. Someone, somewhere, doesn’t really want me to own my own home. While I know that the delay is (potentially) temporary, and it is possible, if the Shutdown lasts for only a handful of days, that any delay would be hardly noticeable, but if this drags on… I am trying to keep it in perspective. There are people out there who aren’t getting paid today. My worries are colossal to me, but trivial in larger context.
I calmed myself with a beer, a few tears, and forcing myself to stay up for the season premiere of Scandal last night. So worth being bleary-eyed this morning. And it did make me feel better, if only for a moment. The husband has a meeting this morning with a HUD consultant and our realtor over at the house.
Speaking of Scandal, my next question is: How do I get more disciplined about writing? I’ve been utterly unmotivated all week. I have plenty of things that I want to write down, but by the time I get the boys down for their nap, I’m so brain dead that I barely get a paragraph going. I have to go back to the old school: goal setting with rewards/punishments. Basically, a task list a mile long with a big thing at the top: “you can only watch Scandal if…” Most other television can sit on the DVR for a while… The other thing I have to do is start getting up again. I was up at 5:30 this morning to steal an hour and a half to myself. This townhouse has the absolute loudest staircase in the universe. I was straight out of Mission impossible this morning trying to get down the stairs without waking up Ursa Minor. I made it and started writing…but dude bro woke up anyway. He seemed sort of in and out, so I let him make noise in the crib. Finally, at 7, he wasn’t having it anymore. I do my best writing and thinking first thing in the morning. How do i get work done without being bothered by babies?
I’m also still pondering my role at preschool. I had been putting it on the back-burner to prioritize other tasks, but my worries about diversity came up multiple times this week. First, I was listening to On Point on NPR this week, and Tom spent an house talking with the new Miss America, who just happens to be Indian American. I don’t watch beauty pageants, but I am very aware of Nina Davuluri after the internet erupted in a racist tempest after she was crowned winner. Listening to her speak about spreading the word about diversity, promoting diversity education and awareness, and learning how to handle the nastiness of the internet really got me thinking about things again. Furthermore, a caller into the show said something obvious, but interesting. Some random woman from some random place called in to say, “I really think that diversity training should happen before college. College is way too late.” Tom then asked, “Does learning about diversity happen as late as college? Is that the only time?”
and I said out loud, in my car, to no one in particular: “Learning about diversity should be just as important as tummy time.”
How can we make diversity just as important as tummy time? How can we get it started that early?
I’ve been pondering this idea all week. I’ve searched some things, but have found every little. The truth of the matter is, this simply isn’t a priority for children this age. Indeed, children don’t start noticing color this early, and they certainly cannot comprehend the sociological baggage that is attached to skin color, but the truth of the matter is that making diversity a priority for young children is more about the parents than it is about the children. Our children take their cues from our actions–if they see us taking the time to make sincere and meaningful relationships with people of different backgrounds, they will learn to do the same. It starts with moms sitting around with their infants on the floor, evolves into playdates and after school homework sessions, and eventually turns into young adults who are simply comfortable with being around different types of people. I know that this is an oversimplified summary, fraught with more caveats than I care to acknowledge, but there is an idea here. And a problem. It doesn’t help me with my job at this preschool at the moment. It is also a problem because I can’t seem to find anything out there that is similar to my ideas. I can’t believe that this is a novel notion. I don’t have the time or the resources to expand this idea further.
It is not hard to understand why so many great thinkers and writers have lived in this area of the country. It is simply beautiful here in MetroWest. I can honestly say that I’ve fallen in love with this area. It makes me think of home, it is full of people, places and activities that I want to do, see or talk to and most importantly, it is just stunningly beautiful. My membership packet for the Mass Auduban Society came in yesterday with a booklet describing every sanctuary in the state and now I want to visit all of them. As much as I want to resist this place, I cannot deny just how special this place is. If I can’t raise my boys in Maryland, I’m glad that I have the opportunity to raise them here.
I’m still incredibly angry at my government today. In my exasperation regarding the house, I asked a good friend if we were watching the end of Rome. I was told to keep the faith–we’ve been through worse as a nation and have come out on the other side. As a history teacher, I should have known not to ask such a silly question. However, the difference between this and the other crises that we have faced is that we’ve always seemed to come out stronger on the other side. There is no strength on the other side of this crisis, no boon to look forward to. Bitterness will remain, heartache will remain, distrust will remain, and all of these people who have failed us will remain. As much as my liberal friends are happy to say that “we will remember in November”–the truth is that a million things are going to happen between now and midterms. The American memory is short, and grows shorter by the day. I have no reason to believe that there will be some sweeping purge of the current congressional membership come 2014. By the time we get to next November, all of this will be irrelevant. So how do we grow from here? Where is the grand lesson? We used to be a nation that learned. Has my republic stopped learning?
It is a cloudy Friday morning in Massachusetts. Cool temperatures are here to stay. I wish you a quiet morning this weekend, with a warm cup of coffee in your hands and the crisp air of autumn in your nostrils. I wish you feet in cozy slippers and perfectly soft pajama pants. I wish you opportunities to snuggle up with the person (or persons) you love the most. A kiss on the cheek. A whispered “I love you.” An inside joke over dinner. I wish you something rich and savory, cooked by skilled hands with love and passion. I wish you a moment of color–in the leaves, on the ground, or in the sky. I wish you a perfect question and an ideal answer. I wish you a moment to ponder.
By the by–i reached 1000 followers yesterday! Such a crazy and unimaginable milestone! Thank you, to all of you. I’m so grateful for your time and company. I wish I could promise you a great post every time–I can’t. But i promise that I’m trying to improve and I’ll always be sincere.