Friday, February 21, 2014

I Probably Should Have Planned That Better

A couple of years ago, my Dad added me to his bank accounts.  This was after my mother passed away, and just at the start of what I now recognize as his debilitation. He never veered off into full-on dementia or anything like that, but became more and more forgetful. Didn't remember conversations, quips he'd just made, things like that.  Anyway, I started tracking his finances and paying bills, and he added me to his accounts to facilitate that.

In the initial wake of his death, this actually made things bunches easier.  We didn't all have to pitch in to pay bills until we could start using some of the estate money or anything like that -- since he added me to his accounts, I just wrote checks against that money.  Yeah, my name was on it, but it was his money.  Didn't feel right to use it for anything but his bills...

He had this one account that only had a few hundred dollars in it, and I've been letting it drift for the past 6 months.  It wasn't hurting anything to let it lie, and he had a a decent chunk of change in the other account to which I had easy online access.  But, the easy account dwindled down to a few dollars, so I knew it was time to close the other account and siphon that money to help cover the electricity bills for his house (still working on clearing that out and selling it, but that is another post).

His bank branch is a stone's throw away from my office Since today was a fairly meeting-free day at work, I decided to carpe diem.  Or carpe argentum?  Anyway, I knew that this task would be tinged with emotion. Saying the words, "My father passed away," well, that's never easy.

Here's what got me:  she went to retrieve a few papers after I turned over my license and his death certificate.  When she sat back down, I glanced at what she'd placed on the desk as a reference.  It was the little slip of paper that my father and I signed three years ago when he added me to the account.  There was his signature, a scrawl I've seen thousands of times, floating next to mine.  Memories of that day came flooding back, and I was very grateful that the bank staffer had to get up and make a photocopy of some other documents.  I didn't need her to see me getting all melty over a scrap of paper, no did I?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Everything Is Awesome

If you've seen "The Lego Movie," that title likely triggered an earworm that is more persistent than Chekov's parasite in 'Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.' (I am a very happy gigantic nerd.)

My kids have seen the movie.  My older two have seen it twice, and I am so very happy that it has re-ignited their love of all things Lego.  My oldest boy has persistently, ardently loved Lego for many years now.  But he drifted into the kit zone.  'The kit zone,' in my completely made-up parlance, is the zone in which a kid thinks s/he can construct ONLY the thing in the instructions.

The underlying message of The Lego Movie is: Dude, you can mix and match and do whatever the heck you want with Lego.

And so they have...

My coffee table is currently decorated by roughly one billion Lego.  Among them are a cannibalized Joker's play set (currently occupied by Superman, the Human Torch, a hairless Indiana Jones-lookin' sumbitch, Patrick the Starfish, and a pink fairy), half a Star Wars pleasure barge, and some 'Friends' pink and purple and purple and pink blocks.

Most precious to me, though, is the 'house' that my oldest boy and my daughter co-constructed.  According to the two of them, within it, you will find two families -- my son's and my daughter's fantasy families -- having a dinner party.  The menu?  Pizza.  Here, take a look:

I'm not really sure what the trophy's about?  Being awesome?

My son's family comprises his wife and his son, whereas my daughter's family (whom you can't see) comprises a boyfriend/partner (she don't need no ring!) and they have two adopted children.

(I don't know who the angry dude through the doorway is.  Maybe my youngest son? Who is the opposite of angry at the tender age of 4.  Maybe my other kids think he will become embittered with age?)

I love this. Love it like I love coffee.  Which is a lot, let me tell you.  Anyway, maybe (read: certainly) I am reading too much into this, but I feel like if my 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter are envisioning futures where they are partnered up with wives and boyfriends and raising children, that maybe they feel like my husband and I are doing an OK job.