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My Wife Won’t Sleep in Our House, by 720 Credit Score

By Philip Tirone

After renting for years, my wife and I just bought a house.

It’s our ideal house—exactly what we were looking for in the exact neighborhood we wanted. We have dreams of raising our children there, and we smile thinking about the birthday parties, sleepovers, and graduation celebrations that will fill our home in years to come. When our children grow into adults, we imagine what it will feel like when they return for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We think about what it will feel like when they come to visit with our grandkids many, many years from now.

It’s a house that will be a home that will hold a family that builds memories together.

Right now, though, as I write this, our dream house is infested with scorpions.

The family who owned the house moved out 3 years ago. Unbeknownst to us, in the absence of human occupants, scorpions took up residency.

Talk about a buzz kill.

We planned on having a special celebratory dinner to mark our first night in our home. But in place of this, my wife and kids are sleeping at my parents’ house while I walk through the house hunting scorpions.

You might not know this, but it’s easier to find scorpions at night because they are nocturnal. Scorpions glow neon blue when illuminated by a black light.

These are facts I wish I didn’t know. I wish our perfect vision had come true.

I’m trying not to get too depressed about it because there’s a lot to be happy about, too. We’ve had the house treated, and in seven to ten days, the scorpions will be gone (fingers crossed). My two oldest kids just started first grade and kindergarten at a great school. My wife and I have a rock-solid marriage, and my two youngest kids are healthy and happy.

But those scorpions.

I told a friend of mine about the scorpions, and her response was laughter.

“I don’t think you understand,” I said. “It’s awful. Have you ever seen a scorpion? Can you imagine how scared we are? There’s no way our kids can be in the home. They glow-in-the-dark. It’s a kid’s worst nightmare: A glow-in-the-dark monster.”

She laughed again.

“I know, but it’s only scary right now. In a few years, you guys will look back on this as a great memory. You’ll think: Remember what a nightmare it was when we moved into this house, and it was infested with scorpions? And you’ll think: Look at our family. We’ve gone to battle together.”

When she put it like that, I thought: It’s only scorpions. We’ve been through worse. Surely, we can get through this!

I am reminded of another friend, who couldn’t find a job when his daughter was young. He lost his job while his wife was pregnant, and he didn’t find a job until his daughter was three.

Recently, I asked his wife, Connie, what their daughter’s first word was. She joked, “I can’t remember for sure. All we talked about during those first few years was Mick’s job search, so her first word was probably ‘résumé.’”

Then they shared a laugh. “Remember how awful that was?” Mick said. “We had to live with my parents.”

But they both had big grins on their faces. It was only awful back then. Now, it’s part of the fabric that bonds their family.

Here’s my takeaway: Our struggles define us as much as our victories. In future years, we will remember the tough times we have survived as battles that we have won. The scorpions in our lives will turn into beautiful, sacred memories that mark a lifetime.

I know that many of my readers are having financial struggles, and I know that these metaphorical “scorpions” can be worse—much worse—than my actual scorpions. It is my hope that you fight this battle and win it, so that in future years, this chaotic time somehow transforms into a memory you can look back upon with a smile.

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