Well, it has been awhile since I’ve posted. I we are now in week 6 of a 3-week kitchen remodel. I have remodeled before. I never want to do it again. I always say that. But really, this is the last time.
It has helped to practice gratitude. “I am thankful I can afford a kitchen remodel.” “I am thankful that my family is safe, healthy, and my biggest irritation, as my father-in-law would say, is a ‘rich-person’s problem.'” I am thankful that the length of time is only double the original estimate, since my master bath took 3 months and was half the size, and went 50% over budget.
Yesterday was the first day I did not have to do dishes in the backyard. Grateful. I have found a way to see past the scratched pantry door (which is getting fixed), an under cabinet light that is not centered (shit happens), drawer fronts that did not match cabinet doors (shit happens, getting fixed), electrical outlets that are not in line as you scan the kitchen with your eyes (my husband is freaking out, but it goes into my “shit happens” category, I don’t have the bandwidth to care. I’ll park a toaster in front of the offender).
At 4 pm yesterday, I couldn’t find my gratitude. The contractor told me “you’ve had water hooked to your fridge all along,” (we’d been filling a Brita pitcher upstairs for over a week). I said “how can that be? You’ve only put in the water purifier today.” His response:
“Oh, it’s not hooked to the water purifier. You never mentioned that. No, we can’t do it now… sorry.”
“Whaaaaaaaaaaa?!?!?!?” Around and around we go. I mentioned it at least 4 times before construction started, asked, verified and reverified. my husband verified it twice as well. No, I don’t want money back for moving the water line. I want my fridge hooked to the water purifier. This is not classified under “shit happens.” I will even go as far as to say, if it couldn’t have been connected, we would still be dragging our feet on doing the kitchen remodel. The fridge hooked to the purifier was the tipping point of pulling the trigger on getting the remodel done in the first place.
To 90% of the people in this country, it appears that I need to file this in the “shit happens” bucket. I CAN’T. I marvel at my reaction and how deep my pain and disgust go regarding this issue. My heart physically hurt. I yelled at my kids all evening for the slightest infractions. I argued with my husband for over an hour regarding the situation (he agreed with me and thought I was being too nice- he wanted to stop payment on the last check).
Here’s the rub. It’s more than a water line to the purifier. It is symbolic of my fight as an Autism mom. It is a reaction that comes from 9 years of ingrained fear that my family will ingest more toxins than it has to, that my recovered son will slip away from us again. It is sooooo much more than a water line. It is not being heard. It is being dismissed after the fact. It is looking at the beautiful kitchen and only seeing what’s not there– my one absolutely non-negotiable request of the entire remodel (and yes, I had even phrased it that way when I said I wanted the water line to be hooked to the purifier).
My son is considered “recovered.” We glide through life now like other “normal” families, but it took this one situation to awaken the Beast I dislike being. I realized in that moment that we are NOT a normal family. We never will be. The Beast will have to emerge when a perceived threat comes our way. I don’t like it. It’s just something that I have to do.
I am sooooo tired. I am sooooo ready for this remodel to be done, for this chapter to close. But I am grateful that my contractor came back this morning, and even more grateful that he has figured out a non-invasive solution to the problem. He is a good guy, does good work, I’d recommend him to others. He doesn’t understand me, and that is OK. He doesn’t need to. He just needs to hook up the fridge to the purifier.