Enduring the Echo

Dearest Rachel –

Now that the construction is actually in progress, I’m getting a fair amount of flak from Daniel regarding the things he doesn’t like about it all. And there’s nothing wrong with him expressing an opinion; in fact, I’d prefer he say what he does and doesn’t like as opposed to giving a shrug and a ‘meh’ kind of response. I get that there are a lot of things that are of little concern to him, but something this significant really needs to have a little input from him.

To be sure, he tends to be a little on the blunt side with his criticisms. I think sometimes even Mom and Dad can get a little upset when he criticizes Mom’s food of a Thursday evening. In his defense, she has admitted to experimenting with new recipes, and when you’re the guinea pig, she should want an honest opinion about her creation. If it’s not particularly up to her usual standards, for instance, it’s best to know about it and move on to other recipes (and she has a vast collection of them she still wants to try out) rather than belabor something that’s sub-par. But it’s true that his honesty in his opinions isn’t particularly diplomatic. I’m not sure I know how to assist him to that end.

Because even I deal with his displeasure as progress continues to be made on the house. Some of it actually may be justified, in fact; nothing ever quite looks the way it does in the showroom or on the computer screen. But if he’s resistant toward something merely because it’s a change, and he just doesn’t like change – which, in fairness, is part of his condition, after all – I have to insist that he set that aside. Life involves change, whether he likes it or not. Things have to be replaced as they break, and it’s best to do the whole thing over when the opportunity arises. Even you would approve and understand, even if you would be less than happy with everything I’ve had to do (specifically, everything I’ve had to throw out) in order to get to this point.

On the other hand, there have been times where we’ve been able to reach a compromise about things he’d rather be kept, or at least something similar be a part of the finished result, and that’s fine (although I take no credit for arriving at such solutions). And then, there are points where the situation as it stands is less than optimal, and while you know it’s going to change and – hopefully – improve as the project progresses, you’re only able to see the current status, and it feels like this sub-optimal situation is going to last forever.

Such was the situation last night, as we bid goodnight to Logan after an afternoon of the boys watching anime together. As far as I know, they had a perfectly pleasant time together. But after Logan left (for the second time, after having left his keys behind in the house – at least he can’t actually lose them, since he needs them in order to start his car and go home), Daniel turned to me and told me, “I don’t like the echo in this place.”

It’s not the first time that he’s complained about the echo in the house, either. When it was full of stuff, there was a lot of things lying around to absorb the sounds made within the house, particularly in the kitchen. But for the time being, that room – along with the front hall and the laundry room – are completely empty, devoid even of stuff like rugs and furniture. Because of this, they’re also that much larger spaces, allowing sound to travel father before bouncing off of tile or wall, making the reverberations that much more pronounced.

And he doesn’t like it.

The thing is, this will all change eventually. There will be rugs in the hall. The cabinets (wooden ones, not metal ones with adhesive veneer) will be installed. Even the appliances, when they are brought in, will reduce the overall space, thus shortening the reflection time between a noise and its echo, if it has any.

We just aren’t there yet, nor do we know the extent of the difference. All we’re dealing with is what we have at the moment, and it’s an incomplete picture. So of course it’s not the way any of us want it to be. But it’s not forever.

So we just have to endure it for now. Things are changing quickly in here, after all – it’s one of those things that Daniel complains about. But the changes will prove to be improvements, eventually.

Just not quite yet.

Until then, honey, keep an eye out for us, and wish us luck. We still need it.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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