To the future owners of our home

An explanation of the grape and lemon lollipops you just found on the ledge of the second-floor hallway window

To the future owners of our home,
I don’t know who you are, or when our current home became yours, but I do know that at some point you will discover two perfectly in-tact lollipops on the ledge of the second-floor hallway window. Maybe you are a thorough sort of people and will discover them the first day as you go room by room making sure we’ve rid the house of all of our contents; maybe you are more inclined to discover these lollipops the first time you go to clean this window to nowhere. Regardless, at some point you will discover this candy and idly throw it away, maybe wondering how we managed to miss this when the rest of the house was appropriately scoured.

Prior to returning to work, I brought our newborn son, Duncan, to my office to meet my co-workers. Amidst the oohing and ahhing that the prince of our house so rightly deserves, one of my directors handed me two lollipops. For Evangeline, she said brightly. A big sister gift!

Now, I am not anti-sugar by any stretch. Together, my daughter Evangeline and I have creamed butter and sugar and added flour in order to create any number of cakes and sweet breads over the last two years. Occasionally, after an especially long time at the pool, we stop for an ice cream (vanilla or strawberry for her, something chocolate for me). On an extremely limited basis I have exposed her to small pieces of chocolate. But I do not abide and cannot tolerate sugar purely for the sake of it. Laffy Taffys, Starbursts, skittles, sour patch kids – I just don’t get the point of that kind of candy. I realize, of course, that this means Evangeline and Duncan will gravitate to it all the more when they are older, but for now, with the exception of her Halloween haul and the jelly beans in her Easter basket, I have hidden this type of candy until I can dispose of it properly.

I took the lollipops from my colleague and thanked her profusely, all the while planning on tossing them at the first opportunity. For the time being, I placed them in the cup holder of Duncan’s stroller, which is where they lived for nearly two weeks. Every time I took the kids for a walk, I would glance down and see the glistening violet and lemon-colored candy and be grateful Evangeline wasn’t yet tall enough to discover it. I have to remember to do something with that candy,I’d think, but it was never an opportune time, since I feared Evangeline spying the candy if I took it out while removing Duncan from the stroller.

Future owners, don’t judge me too harshly. If you had seen how Evangeline reacted to 1/2 a glass of ginger ale – a special potty-training reward – you wouldn’t just support my low-sugar stance, you’d actually campaign on my behalf. Have you ever seen how a bird dog reacts when he realizes it’s about time to go hunting? That’s pretty much how my daughter reacts to most forms of sugar.

One day when we were planning a family walk Sam discovered the candy when he went to put his traveler’s mug of rumcoffee in the cupholder. So quickly Evangeline never even noticed, he put the candy in the pocket of his shorts. Remind me to take these out of my shorts before I put them in the hamper,” he said.

The candy (and the shorts) made their way down into the basement, where they remained until I found a free moment after the children’s bedtimes but prior to watching The Wire on demand to start the laundry. My cursory pocket search (you never know when you are going to find a dollar or ten!) turned up the candy. In what seemed at the time a logical decision, I placed the damn lollipops on top of the laundry I grabbed from the dryer and made my way upstairs with the basket where it sat in the hallway for a week and a half an undetermined length of time but the candy blended in so Evangeline didn’t notice it until one day when suddenly she did and exclaimed Mama, look, CANDYand attempted to descend upon it the way the hungry hyenas in the Lion King try and descend upon Simba. I hastily grabbed the candy and placed it the window ledge, referring to it at different points as old and yucky while employing some crafty redirection toward the new and yummy raisins because again, sugar + Evangeline = madness.

At least twice a week I glance up at that window, see the candy, and think I need to throw that away. But I always seem to notice it when the kids are at my feet, or before I give Duncan a bath, or when my hands are full. The last time I saw this candy, I was rushing Evangeline to the potty. I really should move that,I thought, for the hundredth time this month. Or, at least write a blog post.

I like to think one of these days I’ll remember to throw the candy away once and for all, but it is probably much more likely that it will remain on the window ledge until we move from this home. Like the bottles of homemade wine and buried statue of Saint Joseph Sam and I came across when we first moved, it will make a statement to the new owners. In all likelihood they will assume we were slovenly, perhaps food hoarders, but I will know the truth: like the saying emblazoned upon cheap t-shirts across America I was, quite simply, too busy to clean.

One thought on “To the future owners of our home

  1. Here’s what I think. Sometime in the far, far, indeterminate future, when doctors are once again making house calls and being paid with chickens and pies, a doctor will arrive at your house. After seeing a little patient, he’ll discover, to his chagrin, that he left home without restocking his doctor’s bag with lollipops.

    Going down the stairs, he’ll find your lollipops right there, on the ledge. He’ll thank Hippocrates, make a turn and go back into the bedroom. “Oh, look!” he’ll say. “You thought I forgot!” And he’ll hand over the loot. The patient will feel ever so much better, he’ll collect his apple pie downstairs, and go home humming, with an admonition that he should be called if the medication and lollipops don’t work their magic.

    (Clearly, this is something that could only be written by someone who always looked forward to doctor visits because there always were lollipops. Well, except when there were jelly beans.)

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