|Dave and Sam in front of our "dump" the other day.|
How easily the knife turns.
It's Christmas morning and we're all full of presents and cookies and we're laughing and talking, full of holiday cheer and love. Dave is in the kitchen, cooking breakfast and we're admiring him with greatly exaggerated and giggly compliments.
"Not only does he cook, he's good-looking," someone says.
"Oh, better than Colin Firth."
"Better than Brad Pitt."
"Almost as good as Angelina."
"And he's handy," someone else says.
"Handier than Red Green."
"Handier than a double roll of duct tape."
"Handier than a two-peckered rooster in a henhouse."
"And he's got money, too," someone says.
"That's why I call him Moneybags Webster," I say.
That's when Sam, my 10-year-old, says, "If you guys are so rich, how come you live in this dump?"
Oh, it's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
Our house isn't like other people's houses and, as our children get older, they're starting to notice the difference.
Their friends, for the most part, live in three-bedroom bungalows, the kind you see in subdivisions everywhere. They have big living rooms as well as family rooms, a couple of big bathrooms, a rec room, a laundry room. They may not be Martha Stewart-pretty but they're functional and clean and well-designed for young families.
We live in a four-room log cabin.
One of those rooms is the bathroom and it's so small that I have to walk into it sideways. The bathtub is the smallest tub I've ever seen.
The living room and kitchen is an open area. Only six people can sit in the living room at a time.
Our bedroom is the size of the smallest bedroom in most people's houses.
The boys' room is an all-purpose room that contains bunk beds, laundry, a china cabinet, a dresser and the kitty litter. Since we don't have the boys all the time, this actually works better than it sounds.
The floor is painted and peeling in spots. We want to put hardwood flooring on it some day but can't afford to at this moment. One thing at a time!
We also have a detached garage plus workshop with a full-sized apartment on top - lots of room for guests, especially in the summertime. The boys, however, won't go up there alone because there are zombies who want to eat their faces off.
Personally, I love our cabin in the woods. It was built in 1880 and the logs are still sturdy. The panelling inside has a gorgeous aged patina. It is warm and cosy in the winter and cool and comfortable in the summer. All this, and it overlooks the Muskoka River. What more could I ask?
For youngsters, though, I guess it doesn't stack up against three bedroom bungalows.
Dave's feelings were hurt by Sam's comments. He doesn't appreciate being told our house is a dump. I tried to explain that I don't think that's what Sam was saying. I think he meant to say, "If you have so much money, why don't you live in a big mansion?" Or something like that.
Or maybe he does think we live in a dump.
Right now, it's increasingly important for them to fit in, to be like other kids. When they get older, though, I believe they will appreciate that a home doesn't have to be big or fancy to keep the rain and snow off our heads, or keep love inside.
Some day they will appreciate their lives on the Muskoka River.
Maybe not until they're grown up and I'm dead and gone.
But it will happen.