Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What I thought about for 2,000 miles

I had a lot of time to think during my Thanksgiving road trip (over 1,000 miles each way).  The kid mostly watched movies and drew pictures (while taking special care to make sure that no magic marker in her collection will ever see its respective cap again). On the way to Oklahoma, I listened to music on my iPod, as well as parts of an audio book I'd purchased (the new one from David Sedaris). On the way back, I mostly listened to the radio.  I heard "Jessie's Girl" by Rick Springfield at least half a dozen times on Saturday. I'd complain that there ought to be a law, except that my oldest and dearest friend is a die-hard Rick Springfield fan and I can't bring myself to besmirch his (Rick's) fine reputation.

As the miles ticked by, I thought about a lot of trivial things, such as "why do people tailgate me in the left lane and then, when I move to the right, move over and tailgate me there, too?"  However, I also found myself pondering a weightier issue: what will happen to my child if her dad and I are suddenly wiped out by a bus? I have no idea why I settled on something so morbid, but indeed my brain got stuck there. For hundreds of miles.

I did contact an attorney about this matter a couple years ago.  However, apparently you can't just issue a decree as to what will happen to your offspring if you kick the bucket.  You have to address the whole kit and caboodle - your entire estate and what will happen to it if you expire.  Both our kit and our caboodle are pretty far in debt.  It hardly seems worthwhile to address the property issues at this point.

We are mostly in agreement about what should happen to our daughter, though, and have passed that information along to family members.  If my other half and I both perish, we want my sisters to decide between themselves which of them is best able to raise another child (at that particular moment, at least). Basically, just do what is best for their niece. They are to do this without bickering and without the delivery of any sisterly nougies. If neither sister can care for A, we'd like my sister-in-law and brother-in-law to petition for custody.  We really have no idea how these things work from a legal perspective, but those are our wishes.

Obviously my plan is to live long enough to raise my daughter and then to be a complete and utter nuisance to her every day of her adult life. But if I can't, I just want to be assured that she'll be okay and that she'll become the person she's meant to become.  I want her to be a free-thinker, free to choose her own religion and way of life. I want her to take chances and to be extraordinary, but to live kindly and gently.

I hope my sisters are taking notes here.  If my daughter registers as a Republican, I will never forgive you! (Even free-thinkers have limits, people.)


Beth said...

My husband and I had the same concern, and probably close to the same debt load. Still, we met with an attorney when our son was two. Unlike you, we have no family members that we'd like to have him; he is to go to my best friend or, if she's unable to care for him, other close friends of ours.

rachel said...

Thanks for not besmirching! I use that song regularly to embarrass the boys, it comes on I start dance be it the mall, doctors office, etc.

And your not allowed to die sorry just can't even bare the thought of it.

As for the wee one if something should happen she would be loved and between those who love you we will make sure she knows what a treasure you are as well some of your wackier moments and traits.