Friday, April 10, 2009

Time Passages

Close of Day -- Original Oil Painting by Steve Henderson of
I don't deal with the passage of time well. It pains me to realize that my children will continually grow older -- as well I -- and that someday the socks won't be all over the floor, the towels stuffed into the bathtub (if I'm lucky), the butter left melting on the counter, and assorted bottles and jars stuffed back into the refrigerator sans their lids. I suppose I should be grateful that they were put back in the refrigerator at all.

At one time, my house was much tidier, but at the expense of my time and my relationship with the kids. One day I realized that I could spend a significant portion of my day nagging and instigating constant cleaning up, or I could calm down a bit and accept a lived-in look -- that stopped significantly short of cockroaches -- and use the minutes that I would have spent polishing the refrigerator grill with something creative and fun.

I've been happier ever since, although at times I still wonder what the bathroom floor looks like.

Years ago, I visited an older friend who had been widowed for several years, and what struck me most about her home was the appalling neatness of every room. Books and magazines were artfully arranged and stayed that way. Sofa cushions were actually on the sofa. The bathroom floor was a flowered blue vinyl; coordinating towels hung on their racks.

Don't get me wrong -- her place was lovely, as beautiful as anything in a magazine. It was also empty and devoid of noisy messy people, and at the time I went back to my noisy, messy home grateful for the inhabitants who made it that way.

Some day, and not too far in the future, the noisy messy people will be gone, off to their own homes which, if my oldest daughter is any example, they will keep better picked up than they did their teenage rooms (that she married a tidy man no doubt has a part in this). At that time, if there is a towel on the bathroom floor, it will be because I or my husband dropped it there, and either one of us is fully capable of picking it up.

Until then, I continue to enjoy my noisy messy people, grateful for the time we share together everyday, determinedly teaching them what a clean dish and a folded shirt look like, while they in their turn teach me what jumping on the trampoline feels like -- and it's ever so much more fun than pairing socks!

Enjoy life -- purchase original art --


  1. Hi,

    I found you on the follower list of The Deliberate Mom and checked you out because I like the name of your blog. I am your first follower. Hope you will follow me too at

    I like the idea of using that fantastic art as a backdrop for your content and look forward to reading more.

  2. O how I love this post. I needed to read this so desperately. Seriously! I was the one who was sooooooooo messy when I lived at home. Years later I was rescued by a handsome prince who was very please the prince I became a 'dignified', 'orderly' princess who enjoyed living in the midst of cleanliness. Then, one day I allowed the cleanliness to take over me and I ended up robbing my children from their creativity of building forts in the living room with the foundation being my couches and pillows. I would get so upset and sweat in complaining frustration as to why my house was such a mess...rooms looking like dressers and closets threw up their contents. Today, after reading your post, I know it's ok to be clean, but it's not ok for clean to become who I am. Thank you for this reminder to enjoy my kids, live in my home and breathe...just breathing in the smell of my daughter's hair, as though she were a flower in my garden, in awe of the beauty before me, no longer passing her by because of busyness.