1 a : prepared mentally or physically for some experience or action b : prepared for immediate use
After a weekend of wrapping crystal, stacking plates, removing cabinets and boxing up most of our kitchen, we were as ready as we were likely to be for renovation of our kitchen to start. We've lived in this house for nearly eight years and while I had no idea until we moved in just how dysfunctional the kitchen was, I've hated the black and white floor from the start. If anyone should not own a home where the kitchen floor shows every speck of dirt, it is yours truly. As work started this morning, our contractor moved the refrigerator from one part of the kitchen to another. As he did so, he tore the floor. It didn't break my heart.
I'm ready to have the old floor gone, but even more, I'm ready to have the new floor put in. I've wanted a cork floor for about a decade. I saw it used on a home improvement show long before I had any need for new flooring, but it has stayed on my mental wish list ever since. I'm especially excited about the gem collection that we found. Hopefully the sheen of the flooring will hide my housekeeping indiscretions far better than the lovely black and white linoleum.
It's been a stressful few weeks leading up to starting the kitchen renovation. While we've been planning for a while, the reality of choosing a hundred tiny details didn't fully set in until about a month ago. And really, could we have started much earlier? My living room has 160 square feet of flooring and a 120 pound sink sitting in it right now. I'm fairly sure I wouldn't have wanted those here for any longer than absolutely necessary.
Last week, as the stress mounted, I had a feeling that once the renovation actually started, I would feel better. That's been true. Today has gone surprisingly well. The floor were the cork will be laid is now level (if you own a home as old as mine, you know this is nearly miraculous) and the really fun stuff starts tomorrow - the wall between our dining room and kitchen will be cut through to make room for a bar and pass through area. It will open up the flow in this old house and expand our seating without a new dining room table. I'm prepared to be surprised (and pleased) by how different our home will look this time tomorrow.
While all of this work has been going on in the heart of our house, my girls have been playing wonderfully. B played all morning with the son of our contractor while K watched a bit of Dora upstairs (a treat for her since her sisters are too cool for Dora and always object to watching it) and A? A played with her friend (whom I'll call L) who leaves Nashville in two days for a year in Mexico before moving to Florida.
A and I aren't really ready for L to move. They met last year in third grade, when A was placed in a third grade class where every girl came from a different second grade classroom. L reached out to A near the beginning of the year, including her in a playground game and inviting her to her birthday party. L has just the kind of personality A likes in a friend - she's bubbly, fun and outgoing to A's more calm and measured approach to life. I've loved watching their friendship from afar and have appreciated many things about L. But what stands out to me is that L lets A be A. She doesn't urge her to make poor decisions. She doesn't pressure her to act older than she is. She just enjoys her company and plays well with her.
One blessing of A and L ending up in the same third grade classroom was that I got to know L's mom, D, better. From this , I know that L gets her approach to friendship from her mom. D is real. She's herself and she lets others be who they are. I have friends (or perhaps I should call them acquaintances?) who make me feel like I need to be more of something or less of something else in order to be their friend. Not so with D. She likes who she is and that gives her a confidence to let others be who they are. I'm sad to have them leave Nashville because I like D and would have loved to have more time to grow a friendship with her.
I'm happy for D and L (and T, the dad) that they are moving to Mexico. What a fabulous experience they're about to have. They'll create family memories that last a lifetime and give L an experience few children get to have. But am I ready for them to move? No. I'd like more time to hang out with D. I'd like for A to have more time in friendship with L. I'd like to invite them to a kitchen warming party in a few weeks. But instead, I'll have to be thankful for the time we've had getting to know them and hope that there are friends ready and waiting for them in Mexico.