Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery

Zero Students, Many Visitors

Tonight was the last teaching night of my two decades in New Jersey. I am now a person with zero students, unless you count my children. I would not presume to say that I know what a phantom limb feels like to an amputee, but that's the analogy that keeps forcing itself to the forefront of my mind.

Prospective buyers tromp through my house. I want them to do that, yes I do. They tour when I'm home, they tour when I'm out. I've just learned about a realtors' custom I'd never heard of: the office caravan. A group of about twenty real estate agents drive around together, to look at one another's listings in case they have buyers who'd be interested. My own agent really did think she had told me what was coming, but this is the first time I've sold a house, so I was a bit gobsmacked when twenty realtors filed in, swarmed cheerfully through all the rooms, and filed out again in the space of about ten minutes. It felt like a Monty Python sketch waiting to be written, but I seem either to have the wrong muse for the job, or a muse whose refusal to be rushed is so adamant that I probably won't even recognize this scene when eventually it appears in my fiction.

My sons watched about four hours of television today. And about that much the day before. I have become a terrible parent. I might also be becoming a terrible person. When telemarketers interrupt my packing, they get all the frustration vented at them that I'm trying to spare everyone else. Nobody, not even telemarketers, deserves to be spoken to the way I've talked to telemarketers this week.

Despite all the stresses of moving, and all the brain-numbing power of our television diet, my children continue to be glorious. During the latest downpour of our new local monsoon season, Gareth asked, "Is it also raining on Mars right now?" He thought not, but he urgently wanted to make sure. We brought Conrad and his tiny hand drum to the fire circle at midsummer festival for the first time, and he followed the senior drummers better than some of the newest grown-up drummers. The kids' biggest disappointment about this first week since Gareth's school year ended is that we haven't had time to do as much homeschooling as they want.

For all the disruption of the tradespeople, brokers, and prospective buyers, we would welcome more visits from friends. It's been a good twenty years, full of wonderful people we will not be able to smuggle out in our luggage.
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