Clean Houses are Stupid

Dirty toes, crumpled damp wash cloths and dirty dishes everywhere.  I am currently writing from a couch that makes my thighs itchy from invisible and yet extremely invasive crumbs from tonight’s snack of frosted mini wheats.  At my feet, luxuriously crossed and resting on the coffee table, are trains, tracks, a plastic bat and the empty DVD case of Stuart Little. 

Our day had a slow start and a long ending.  Guess which one I preferred?

It was a slow, meandering day.  I awoke with an agenda I intended to write down and then cross off the list one by one.

  1. Clean out the car.
  2. Vacuum upstairs
  3. Do a load of laundry

That’s all I can remember of my early morning motivations.  I never did make that list.

Instead, we made a different list.

  1. Watch remaining episodes of Ben 10 leftover from family night (while I write)
  2. Lay in the hammock and play outside.
  3. Read more of Jackson Jones: The Tale of a Boy, an Elf, and a Very Stinky Fish.
  4. Eat ice cream and/or Popsicles depending on preference.
  5. Bathe
  6. Watch 100 Ways to Leave a Game Show after Captain McNaughty Pants (Levi) went to bed.
  7. Watch Dan in Real Life amidst the clutter of a slow and meandering day.

Oh, the view from that hammock….

I did wash dishes and mop the dining room floor.  I had to do that.  It looked like a swamp thing wandered in for a snack.  You and I both know that three children muddy, grassy and wet from outdoor play charging through the house is the equivalent of at least one swamp thing.  I don’t even remember when that happened.

Irrelevant details.  It’s clean now.

The more I struggle with the concept of peace the less likely I am to awake and rush out.  I can feel the winding down of my need to fill every minute.  In addition to all of that, my children are these brilliant little bits of light.  When I make myself still and sit in the same moment with them, it is peace.

Isaiah brings me bugs declaring that he has found another exoskeleton.  Isaac sneaks up on Isaiah, scares him with a “boo” and then belly laughs as if he invented that joke.  Levi open mouth licks the top of my head like a cat….meeeoooowww.

I love the zoo.  I think we have some amazing parks in this area.  I love to take in a movie or go to the skating rink (obviously).  Arcades are always fun.  I too, feel the pressure to pack my summer full of plans, events and trips.  Today I pondered how much time I was missing with my children rushing them around.  Summer will soon be over and it will be up and at ’em every day.  Our quiet wonders will be split by time even more.

The privilege of being home in the midst of the sticky fingers, dripping Popsicles and belly laughs will end.  Muddy bare feet will have to be laced up in school shoes and picnic lunches will be traded for heavy backpacks. I will have to drink my coffee as I drop off my oldest two instead of having it looking out my back window watching them play in the dirt in their pajamas.

My house will also be cleaner.

Clean houses are stupid but summer… I wish summer would stay forever.


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