Thursday, October 20, 2011

Closing Time

There are certain places that are obviously unfit for an infant and three-year-old: a topless bar, a slaughterhouse, a place where Santa Claus decorations are melted for recycling.  But what about an attorney's office on the day of a closing?  It's hard to see any dangers there.  Sure, it's not as exciting as a playground or a grilled cheese sandwich, but the office has pens and paper and chairs to play on, as long as the kids sign waivers absolving the attorneys of any responsibility should there be an accident.  Plus, a closing should be exciting for kids, as it is the start of a new adventure into a brand new home with nice clean floors and walls for them to destroy.  Why not bring our children?  At least that's what we had to tell ourselves, after our many babysitting plans fell through.

(Above: Packed up and ready to move to a new home)
So, in late August, we smiled sheepishly as we walked into the attorney’s office, apologizing in advance for our kids, as Kyle ran off and almost whacked the bank representative with a swivel chair.  That required another apology, and more paperwork.  Jennifer and I took our spots at the long table, with our real estate attorney sitting between us.  The sellers sat across from us with their lawyer, and there were other representatives there from the bank and the state.  Nobody was upset that our children were with us, or at least they didn't show it.  Adam remained in his car seat, on the table next to Jennifer.  Kyle was supposed to be near me, but he couldn't stay in one spot when there were so many cabinet doors to open.  We had brought some books and crayons, but he was done with those and off to something else before we could sign the first document.

And, wow, there were a ton of papers to sign.  For some reason, you can form a country with a single document, but you can't buy a home in that country without getting carpal tunnel syndrome.  Page after page flew in front of us for a signature, as our lawyer briefly explained what each one meant.  Much of it was over my head.  This was our first time purchasing a home.  I was used to signing a one-page lease that basically told us to pay the rent on time, keep the place clean, and don't throw animals out the window.  Now I had to sign a mountain of paper, taking ownership to every little crack in the wall of our new condo, and giving the bank permission to remove our kidneys should we be delinquent with our payments.

At least, that's what I understand of what happened that day.  I couldn't quite focus with Kyle running around, taking off his shoes, skipping out of sight into the hallway, and climbing the office blinds.  As I carefully watched Kyle and tried to steer him from harm, I just nodded, signed and initialed each page before me, hoping that somehow I wasn't doing anything I'd regret later.  I also figured that my wife, who is an attorney, would be closely following and understanding everything that was going on.  If I had questions, I could just ask her later.  But Jennifer was having a rough time with Adam, who that afternoon realized that being a quiet little baby is boring and screaming incites a funny reaction from Mommy.  So she just signed away as she tried to quell our infant, hoping that I was listening to the proceedings.  Once we were done and on the way home, we realized that neither of us had a clue as to what just happened, or why we agreed to let the sellers' Uncle Murray stay with us on weekends.

Now it's nearly two months later, and I think we survived the home-buying process.  I still feel buying a home was the right thing to do.  Our savings account had been dragging us down, and we were tired of living someplace we could actually afford.  Besides, owning property is part of the American dream, and buying a home allowed us to take part in another joy of life: moving.  This time we packed and unpacked with two children around, which should be illegal.  Everything went much more slowly, but with far more stress.  Blankets and toys had to be found - immediately! - even if you forgot what box you put them in.  Fortunately, some meltdowns were averted (thank you, DVD player) and now a majority of things are where they should be.  I'm getting to a point where I can stop unpacking and do other things, such as showering and writing.  It feels good.  Life is finally returning to normal, whatever "normal" may be.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Home buying, family living, multipe male chldren ... there's nothing quite like it !! Keep up the Great Work !!