My wife and I are retired and downsized,
waiting the ground break for our new
North Carolina home in Southport.
So, we find ourselves sleeping
in the finished basement bedroom
of our forty year owned home
while our recently divorced daughter
and our two grand children sleep upstairs,
daughter in our the master suite,
granddaughter in her mothers old room,
grandson in the corner room where our son slept.
We hope it’s only for a few months,
while southern construction proceeds.
We walk on egg shells, trying to avoid
sinking a deep footprint into daughters life
and the kids technology laden frolics and style.
But it’s hard, you know.
Climbing up the basement stairs
to pee in the wee hours in the guest bathroom,
( I’m pushing 70 with a short broom,
so I always have to pee.)
And trying to watch Jeopardy and Poldark
while the kids lay about with their tablets
and their mother huddles on the couch with her
cell phone whispering whatever to who knows who
and Hell! she’s a grown woman, 41 now!
and newly in the hunt again,
and has all the rights in the world
to have her new “friend with benefits”
spend the night when the grandkids
are at their joint custody Daddy’s house,
bonding with their new step-mother,
something their mother is hard pressed to talk about
without sarcasm camouflaging hurt and worry.
But, We own the place!
Yeah, but we’re just visiting.
But my wife is a better cook than my daughter
and daughter comes home, tired from work,
while we, rested, have cleaned a bit
and gone off to the club to exercise while
daughter is struggling on the up-hill path
she’s chosen for her new frontier…
So my wife and I are buying
a free standing commode
to use in early mornings instead
of stumbling up those basement stairs
and risking flushing the toilet,
probably disturbing daughter who sleeps
on the verge of awake for worrying
or startling grandson who still struggles
with the night terrors and sleep walking!
or becoming entwined in grand daughters,
“It’s OK. I’m not sleepy! Wanna play Monopoly?”
How the hell did we all arrive at this
three generation sandwich,
our bumbling presence pushing daughter
from one side,
her own parental burdens pressing
from the other,
her squished exercise of hard won freedom
spread like dripping jelly in the middle?
Maybe a semi-private place to piss,
closeted by a curtain,
will lessen the squeeze
until our new southern home is ready
for our arrival…
But I doubt it.