Friday, March 19, 2010

Contract Law

Next week my daughter, Sprout, and I are going to a orientation meeting for Middle School.

I need a moment to get my head around that.  OK, I am better now.

Like I said, Middle School.  As in, no longer Elementary School.  As in, one of the more traumatic experiences of many pre-teen lives.  My baby is going into the belly of the beast.

Earlier this week we were talking about this big transition, and Mike said something about "soon she'll be leaving home".  At which point, Sprout looked at us with panic in her eyes and said, "But we still have the contract, right?"

Ah, yes.  The contract.

Walk with me down memory lane to about 5 1/2 years ago.   Little Sprout was just turning 5 and in Kindergarten.  And, being the oh-so-funny Mommy that I am, I looked into her big green eyes and said, "Pretty soon you'll have to get a job and your own apartment."  Ha ha ha!  I am FUNNY!

The next day, the Kindergarten teacher reported that Sprout had spent much of their naptime crying.  Something about how she didn't want to have to get a job and move out?


Of course I reassured her that I had been TOTALLY KIDDING about the whole job/apartment thing.  Totally!  And that she could always, ALWAYS live with us. 

But a mere verbal contract was not sufficient to re-assure her.  So we drew up an official document showing that she could always live with us.  Signed and everything. 

Not notarized.  We might need that loophole later with this whole contract thing comes back to haunt us.

This official document has now been filed away for all of those years.  But when faced with the impending (like, 8 years from now!) end of life-at-home, Sprout went and dug it out and put it on the counter.  Just so we won't forget that we promised.

We won't forget.  I am in no hurry to get rid of her permanently.

I am assuming that by the time she is able to leave, she'll want to.  She probably will choose a college far far away.  (Sob.)  She'll probably seek her fortune in a big city somewhere. (Sob.)

But I am happy for her to have this piece of mind that if ever the road points her back toward home, there will be room at the inn for her.  Always.

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