The Diagnosis — FN?

Benson called me into his bedroom late at night. His knee was REALLY hurting. It was obvious he wasn’t exaggerating. He’s not the kind of kid who lets little aches and pains bother him. I made an appointment with the doctor and checked Benson’s knee every night in the interim. I lost sleep as the weight of the dire possibilities increased. I knew these were not growing pains.

In the waiting room of the doctor’s office I tried to look relaxed as the minutes ticked by. We’d been waiting quite a while when Benson wondered out loud, “Mom, it might be the way I sit when I play video games. You know how I sit on the floor with my knee in that certain way?”

Wait. What?

“Benson Side,” called the nurse.

In the examining room, Benson repeated his considered diagnosis, and the doctor stopped her exam to ask, “Do you ever move positions when you are playing?”

“Well, not really,” Benson said, now relaxing into the “Let’s talk video games” scenario that was seeming more and more likely to be the culprit.

“How long do you normally play?” asked the doctor.

“Long time,” Benson said, with a knowing look that seemed to say, “It is all part of life’s rich pageantry, is it not?”

“Well,” said the doctor avoiding eye contact with me, “you might want to move positions and walk around a while.”

I sputtered something about how our son actually spends a lot of time outside, but that his current obsession, Fortnite, is a cooperative video game — “a good way to stay in contact with friends online right now. You know, Covid…”

Ack! Somehow, I managed to shut up before I embarrassed myself further by enumerating the variety of fresh vegetables and fruits our family eats.

So how does that translate to the real estate world? Are you stuck? Wondering, If I sell can I find a place to buy? There’s a “cure” for that very legitimate concern. One of several remedies is to ask the buyer to let you stay in the home after closing, to rent it back to you. This strategy alleviates some of the fear of putting yourself in the position of selling your house quickly and then not being able to find the right home just as quickly.

Now back to our story: When nine-year-old Benson’s big brother was his age, we had strict rules — three hours of video games per weekend. That was IT. When the timer went off, the TV went off. However, since Covid, the time restrictions have become…shall we say…fluid? Just before Benson complained about his knee, he and his cousin Jack had just been finishing the “season finale” online. Seriously, they were all about to get a “new skin”! That’s big.

Fortnite, unlike Halo, has family values. Killing your friends is not okay. You do “eliminate” your enemies, but they are family-friendly deaths, no blood and guts.

Nothing warms my heart like hearing my son yell up the stairs, “Mom, we got a Victory Royale!” My son, the victor! (All that screen time is really paying off.) Jack’s mom Sarah and I even have a little shorthand now because writing, “Is this a good time for the boys to play Fortnite?” takes a lot of effort. So we just text, “FN?”

I explained none of this to the doctor. The moment to redeem myself had passed. Benson limped out of the examination room thrilled to know he’d be fine. I, too, limped away knowing no explanation of the Tomato Shrine or Agent Peely, the banana in a tuxedo, could redeem my parenting choices in the doctor’s eyes. However, few things are normal right now, so I’m going to give myself a break, as should everyone! (You’re welcome.)

If you are like Benson, and stuck in a position that is upsetting and keeps you from your goals, contact us. We have a list of strategies to help sellers get the highest price and find their dream home in the process AND to help buyers be the offer that stands out from the rest and gets accepted!

Jessica Side
Owner/Managing Broker