“What if we simply said, “yes,” right there in the midst of the mess? “
Start . . .
any years ago, over twenty years ago, when I had 5 children under 4.5 years of age, and the two youngest were infant twins, my mom-in-law stopped by unexpectedly. My house is never as clean as her messiest day – even though I do not know what a messy day in her house looks like! I realized many years ago, I’d never could measure up to her meticulous house cleaning, but when she’d stop by unexpectedly, it sure would make my heart panic and I’d overheat the treadmill with how quickly I could move – kicking things under the couch, into the closet and into the stove. I’d try to have her detained as long as possible by the entry door. But before long, she’d see the mess . . . the baby bathtub on the floor, the oven door ajar from all the pots and pans hidden inside, unvacuumed carpets and many smeared windows. Oh what a mess! I am sure I heard her thoughts out loud! But as I was apologizing and still trying to shove things away, she said to me, “I’d rather see a messy house than not giving attention and love to your children.” With nursing twin daughters, and three boys that were into everything, there were very few dull, uninterrupted moments.
Through the years, the messes change, which not everyone can understand. My husband’s income was more than cut in half, and updates and keeping up with repairs were at a barely-get-by-minimum. Kitchen linoleum so needs to be replaced from getting torn up where it meets the other flooring. Laminate flooring has seen it’s better days of a dozen kids rolling cars, roller skates (which mom was not suppose to see) and moving furniture back and forth over throughout the years. A large bottle of shampoo went down the carpeted stairs, how many years ago, where the suds never ended, us giving up on that mess too. Bedrooms have been switched around so many times, trying to accommodate new a child dealing with nightmares still needing to be close to mom and dad, older children moving out and another older child needing more space. So, for now, some messes just cannot be changed.
I am thankful for a new can of paint that can spark things up, but it does not always cover up the heart of things that so need to be repaired – that just cannot be. In the next ten years, I imagine our home will be almost empty, besides the kids and grandkids coming to visit. We will have time then then to get more repairs and updating done. Maybe by then we will downsize. Maybe our hearts will be more into getting the mess of years of accumulations of things downsized as well. Until then, it’s still homeschooling, teaching a child how to knit, working on scrapbooks, reading stories, trying to make ends meet, and not panicking about messes.
. . . Finish
“We write for five minutes flat. All on the same prompt posted here at 1 minute past midnight EST every Friday. And we connect on Twitter with the hashtag #FMFParty (It stands for Five Minute Friday Party).
No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation.
Unscripted. Unedited. Real.“