I did our taxes last week.
It was quite a good result in the end.
I knew we were going to get money back, but we are going to get back quite a lot more than I was expecting/hoping for.
Here’s the thing: it took me four days to realize I hadn’t once looked at that final refund tally and thought, “That’s a really big chunk of a full IVF cycle.”
I didn’t even look at it and think, “Well, we’ll have the money for that FET no matter what happens with my teaching in the fall.”
When I first reached the end of the program, and saw the total, what I mainly thought was this:
I want to get a cottage.
And then I thought about how Q. wants to take down our old shed and replace it this summer, and how we are redoing the roof in the spring, and how this tax refund just gives us that little bit more breathing space while my income for next year is so up in the air. And I told myself not to be frivolous.
Q. had the same thought I did.
So we’re going to be frivolous with some of it, we who are never frivolous with our money. We’re going to rent a cottage for a week in late August.
It isn’t fancy, but it has a screened in porch and a canoe and it looks out over a lake and there is deep, clear water off the dock and a shallow entry into the water from the shore with a patch of sandy beach where E. will be able to potter around with his buckets and his shovels (and, let’s face it, his trucks).
We’re going to have a family holiday, just us three.
I’m tired of mortgaging our present for a potential future that I can hardly bring myself to believe might yet come to be.
I want to build memories with E.
Most of all, I need a distraction.
On the other path, the future that I thought was going to happen but isn’t now, I wouldn’t have been able to travel in the week we’ve rented the cottage.
I would have been as big as a house.
I would have been seeing my midwives every week.
Instead, I will swim and canoe and read and stargaze and build sand castles with my son.
And maybe, just maybe, be happy.