After 18 years of marriage, my dad and step mother separated in 2000. In a reversal of situations, my dad stayed with me for a time while he looked for a place to live. It was one of those silly sitcom situations, where he would eat all my Pringles, use my shampoo and be in his underwear when I brought the girl I was dating over.
Kristie would joke that he would ruin my mojo.
But honestly he didn’t.
Since I was born without the mojo-chromosome, there was no mojo to ruin.
Kristie and I bought our house in September of 2005, which was two weeks before Loreli was born. Before her first birthday, she had a slew of medical issues we were trying to treat. Kristie was constantly taking time off work and eventually we decided it was best if she stayed home full time with Loreli.
Two months later, I was the sole "bread winner" and trying to pay for a mortgage was tough. We talked about moving in with family (we were only a family of four and haven’t cemented ourselves into the annuals of complete insanity just yet), but were turned down. We even talked about moving back into an apartment. I did not like any of the scenarios that resulted in me moving out of my house. It was a pride thing. I had a house for my kids and wife and wanted to keep it. I did not want to take a step backwards and move back into an apartment.
So I reached out to my dad.
He had just finished the lease on his apartment and was staying on one of those month to month agreements. He was looking for a place to live and we needed some extra income, so we asked if he would move in regardless if it hurt my mojo or not.
Apparently my mojo wasn't affected because two months later we were pregnant with Seth. Then the following year Araceli was born. Then THE FOLLOWING YEAR Emma was born.
Apparently my mojo chromosome was in remission the first three decades of my life.
Living with my dad the past 6 years wasn’t all comedic gold like when were two bachelors living it up. He played the grandpa roll perfectly. He introduced the kids to the Wii and to junk food.
“I got the kids this…” and he hands me a bag with four buckets of cotton candy.
We’re not strict, and we’ve lightened up a lot since Michael was younger, but we never go… “Hey the kids might like a bucket of cotton candy…. EACH!!!!”
He also has a way he’s held each kid to put them right to sleep when they were infants.
“Dad, can you hold the baby? I’m going to go outside and just scream at the side of the house…”
BOOM. Baby is asleep.
It balances out the cotton candy buckets.
Last March he told me he was going to be moving out. He felt it was time to move on and let us have our whole house back. Kristie and I would have lots of talks prior to his announcement about if he was ever going to leave. Not that we didn't want him there, and his assistance does help, we were just running out of space.
He said he was going to move to my brother’s place. He owned a house across town, but was stationed in Corpus Christi. The house was empty and it had three rooms. My youngest sister really needed a place of her own on the weekends she was with my dad.
Yeah, but that didn't happen. My brother and his fiance found out they were pregnant and he got a job back here in San Antonio. My dad’s plans were changed.
Then we got pregnant with Number Six early this year. So like the Native Americans being forced from their home on the Trail of Tears, we have finally forced my dad with no option other than to relocate.
He moves into his new apartment tomorrow.
With him gone, it opens up about 250 square feet of house space we could not use. He had been living in our old bedroom and we took the family room in the converted garage. Kristie and I have been sharing closets with the kids the past six years as well as one bathroom.
We will be getting our old room back. The kids have forever known it to be grandpa’s room, and they will probably still call it grandpa’s room. We’re going to move all the kids into our newer older room. It’s about 400 square feet and will accommodate them all. The baby will get Araceli and Emma’s old room while we will make Loreli and Seth’s old room (Michael’s old room as well), into a TV, Office, Place to play Wii and guest room in hopes to get Michael to stay once in a while.
Will it will be different when he’s gone? The kids will have no one to beg for fast food when they come in the door. And our dog Rosco, will have to resort to only hitting myself and father-in-law in the crotch when we come inside. The new baby will be the only one not to know how it was like when grandpa lived here. Yes, it will be different, but it will also be great to have more to ourselves.
I totally expect the cotton candy buckets to continue as well.
Bye Dad. I guess we're even now.
Bye Dad. I guess we're even now.
Welcome to Boltonshire (now with a little more room)