Paul Bunyan and I made a mistake. We made a fairly big mistake. We built our dream home next to a shooting range. It was a big mistake. We moved in when Claire was 8 months old. We moved out when she was 2.
This was Claire at 2.
This is Claire now. Well, not right now.
It was a beautiful house. Beautifully designed by HER handsome husband. Beautifully built in a beautiful neighborhood.
And then I said this,"I can't stay here."
And Paul Bunyan said this, "What the hell are you talking about?"
And then I said, "I can't read a book in a hammock without hearing a gun shot."
And Paul Bunyan said, "Why would you want to read a book in a hammock. You have a two year old?"
And I said, "Someday, I want to read a book in a hammock without hearing a gun shot."
And Paul Bunyan said, "You're about to have twins, you'll never read a book in a hammock. Ever."
And I said, "I want to die in the house we find. I don't want to die in this house with gun shots reverberating off of the walls."
And Paul Bunyan (after much pleading and convincing) decided to do this:
I loved this house.
Let me repeat: I loved this house. I will always associate this house with Claire's toddlerhood, new puppy Liebe, big snowfalls, the beginning of Paul's woodworking fetish, many a miscarriage and the conception of the twins. I loved the blissful newness of everything, especially our walk-in shower, and the curtains I sewed for Claire's nursery.
But it was a mistake. However, when we look back on the experience we walk away with this:
Our savior. The man we turn to when we need something done. He is Paul's man crush. But we won't go there. Here's my point. Are you ready? When I was stuck in traffic here in the house 6 months after the boys were born and Paul Bunyan comes home to tell me he is starting an alpaca farm, I pretty much said, "I'm staying out of this." I didn't want the weight of that mistake on my shoulders. I was still sore from the hefty error of judgment from the years before. I stayed out of it. But Paul Bunyan powered through. He scooped poop, he buried dead babies. He built and fixed fences, he built and filled the hay loft. He clipped toe nails, gave shots, and once a year sheared those suckers. He showed animals at Alpaca Shows only to be ushered out of the show ring, and practically laughed at. I know he felt defeated. I know he has felt doubt. I know he has wondered why he did it. I know he has felt regret. Well, this weekend. This weekend he felt something for the first time:
Pride. At 2nd place.
Maybe this whole alpaca thing hasn't been a mistake after all Paul Bunyan. I'm very proud of you.