Friday, July 24, 2009

Dirty Laundry Day

I would like to share with you the philosophy of my home;

Books are not clutter.

Playdoh, not clutter.
Art is not clutter. Poetry is welcomed. At least one lego and one marble can be found in each room of my house. I sweep daily, mop weekly, no more. Fingerprints clutter my windows, no matter how hard I try and chase them down. Beds are not always made, my sink loves the company of dishes, the bathrooms are almost always clean, and little boy art is scattered throughout my home. Books are everywhere. Ev.ery.where.

We do not live in a model show-home. Some people love this. They are better at tasking, organizing and have heavier convictions in this area than I do. Sometimes I feel a tug in the perfect-home direction. But then I remember, "oh! I homeschool! Life happens in our home for 5 people all day, everyday."

(here comes the dirty laundry part)

But, every once in a blue moon, I have a good old-fashioned-freak-out day. I want my home to be perfect. Untouched. Fingerprint free.

So this is my way of reminding myself that really, I don't want a model home.

I want my home to be a museum. The hands on kind.

I want to say "yes" to almost everything to every little person that comes in wanting to touch, feel, talk, read, climb,(outside) play, listen, without hesitation.

Painting? Yes.
Beads? Yes.
Playmobile? Yes
Bugs? Yes, outside please.

When you think back on your childhood what do you remember?

Really, I want to know. What do you remember about being little? What did you love?

My mom says that as a child, we don't remember facts. We remember emotions. This stands to reason with me. My memories of childhood all are strongly connected to an emotion; cozyness, contentment, wonder, disgust, embarrassment, humiliation.

  • I remember waking up one day to a treasure before me. My mom picked up some clip on earrings at a garage sale. I loved them.
  • I remember caring for baby dolls.
  • I remember laughing at the little boy next door and feeling bad and also aware of the power I had to hurt.
  • I remember sitting next to my dad on a long drive, feeling on top of the world because I had him all to myself.
  • I remember the jealousy that raged when I learned my sister got a trip to Dairy Queen without me. Never mind I got a helicopter ride while she was at Dairy Queen.
  • I remember the safety of knowing my mom and dad were a team, were home.
I don't remember many details about my home as a child. It was warm, nourishing, loving, mom and dad. It was home.

As a teenager home was a comfortable place for my friends to be. They loved coming over. That, I'm sure had some to do with neatness, but more to do with my dad's loving-teasing ways and my mom's sincere care for my friends.

So that makes me wonder why I fret. Why do I want a perfect home? In fact, a perfect home is no place for living-breathing-laughing people. That's why they're models.
So this is what I want. I want the cozyest, always something to do house. I want everyone to feel comfortable here. I want to enjoy my little and big people without working around them to keep clean.

But it's one of my monsters; a fight to keep what I want...cozy, happy, peaceful home- without the overwhelming need to be cleaning all day and night to achieve something that will never happen. Perfection.

A few months ago I was embarassed to realize that I'm really bad at that. I had a friend here. As we chatted I did the dishes, then started sweeping. Not because the house was a mess, but because I couldn't stand the few crumbs on the floor. Now I'm not saying you should never do work when a friend is around, but I need to stop sometimes. Sit my butt on the couch. Let the dishes sit. Engage. Do a puzzle with my boys. Play.

I think it will be a life long battle for me. I know there will be a day when the house is all too quiet, my boys are off living out their lives and I have hardly a thing to do around here. But that can wait. And maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there is always something to do, and so I need to learn the art of living life and enjoying it in the midst of mess or tidyness.

So I ask you again, what do you remember about being a kid at home? What was important?

Proverbs 14:1 The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.


Anonymous said...

i love this blog entry :)

Amy said...


Ok, so I did NOT know that about children's memories.. they remember emotions... holy moly! I did know that! But when I think back to my own childhood, yep, that is it... they are all feelings and emotions. Fantastic insight! Thankyou for sharing that, my friend! Really really... and as much as I would LOVE to have a 'model" home too, I feel 100% the same way... I want my home to be a different kind of model :) A safe, secure, warm and peaceful place that my children can grow in. I want it to be the kind of soil that they can just sprout up high high to the sky... becoming ALL that God has created them to be.

It's a constant constant battle for me too... but it is one worth fighting, for sure!

Thankyou so much for the reminder, Amanda!

Oh, to answer the questions, I love the emotions that I felt as a child... loved, secure, joyful and filled with delight. And time was important for me as a kid.