No matter how old you get, there’s still some part of you that seeks approval from your parental unit. It definitely fades from years 8 to 38 – but it’s still there, nagging at you in the back of your head when you’re making critical life decisions. Our decision to buy The Duckling was no different.
At first we were all, “we’re not going to let them see it – if they see it, they’ll tell us we’re crazy to buy this house and we KNOW we’re not crazy!” And then it was, “we’re totally grown ups and we don’t need their approval!” Post-offer, those sentiments grew to, “if we don’t show them the house before we buy it, then it looks like we’re hiding something.”
So we made the decision to show our parents, and ONLY our parents, the house before we bought it. They got to see the soap scum caked sinks, the leaf-blown sunroom and the laundry cluttered kitchen in all its glory. Our parents, our realtor Cynthia, our electrician and our contractor are the only people who ever saw the “before” (luckily, the electrician and the contractor have even seen the “after” – no one should have to live with the before image permanently burned in their memory).
When we showed the parents the house, we got the obligatory “it’s got potential” responses. We talked about our vision and they listened patiently. Meanwhile, we both knew what they were really thinking – “are these two CRAZY?!”
So when my mother admitted as much to me about four days after we’d moved in, I was vindicated! She did the whole, “you know we weren’t too sure about this house….” and I said, “yup, I knew that” (she actually thought she’d managed to keep her concern veiled). But when she followed it up with – “but we have to admit, you and Patrick saw potential that we didn’t and it really_is a great house” – VINDICATION!
I laughed because I know my mother well enough to know that she was concerned – I’ve been her daughter for 38 years, that tends to help in my ability to read her mind. But I also trusted Patrick and my instincts to know that we were making the right decision. So even when deep down I knew that my parents thought we were making a bad decision, I trusted my own instincts to know we were right.
I guess there really does come a point when parental consent is nice, but not necessary!
In the meantime, we need to say a big thanks to both of our parents for not trying to interfere and for raising us to be two confident adults with just enough DIY training to give us the confidence we needed to buy this house.