When the twins first arrived on the scene and my entire day was consumed by 12 nursing sessions and 20 diaper changes, I used to dream about the day they would turn three. By then, I imagined, my parenting duties would be reduced to occasionally opening a box of graham crackers and maybe calling, “Careful!” down the stairs whenever I heard any really loud crashes. All of which would leave me plenty of time to write my epic fiction, start my own business, and whatever else I might fancy.
So today as the boys were playing downstairs, what did I do between iterations of “Careful!”? Well, I looked up patio designs online, deciphered my grading plan, calculated the patio price from the per square foot price list which one of the 10 landscapers/pavers I had contacted had given me, and then threw my hands up in the air. We are not getting a patio this year. Booo!!!
So instead of mentally mixing lemonade and hanging chinese lanterns for all those outdoor parties in my head, I began talking myself into not wanting a patio.
Exhibit A: I hate the sun. Heliophobe does not go far enough. I’m a misohelios, the Great Indoors Woman. Born with the pasty skin of an aristocratic, Victorian swooner, I view the sun not as the source of all life on earth, but as the source of all sunburns, wrinkles, melasma and skin cancer. I own 8 different types of sunscreen for every possible occasion (yep, 8) and a fine collection of obnoxiously enormous hats. I put a roof on this house for a reason.
Exhibit B: Bugs. Plenty of people around here complain that the bugs keep them indoors. I’m sure the kids can still swim through the gnats to play in the backyard, but why should I or my dinner party guests subject themselves to anything so barbaric?
Exhibit C: I don’t grill. I keep meaning to learn how to use the grill, but then making Kent do it. And we all know that story of when Kent and the whole family had to evacuate the house waiting for the fire department to arrive to deal with the flames shooting out of the grill to the height of the house in Chicago, right? Maybe we’d best leave well enough alone.
Exhibit D: We don’t use our deck. We’ve had this awfully nice deck in our rental for a year, and we never go out there except in the winter.
So fine. I don’t need a patio. I’ll be perfectly happy to stay inside, thank you very much.
Oh, who am I kidding? I have all those hats and sunscreen for a reason–because I still like to go outside. Sunshine makes people happy! Bugs are annoying, but they can be repelled. Kent may not grill often, but when he does, it is AMAZING! I live for grilled food, and if we had a proper patio, I would make a real effort to grill more. And the reason we don’t use our deck is that we only have two little deck chairs out there and the backyard it over looks is icky/dangerous.
If we had a patio behind our beautiful new house, we would grill there all the time. I would feed the kids out there all the time–less to clean up after inside. I would get some furniture out there and invite my friends over to sit and watch their kids and mine play in our humong-o backyard. It would be amazing.
Stupid concrete/pavers! Why are you so expensive? Why must you mock me?!