We have 2 children, 2 dogs, and 3 chickens. The yard is a series of lovely surprises tucked here and there – herbs and berries, veggies and flora. In the house, the typical and never ending tasks and maintenance stare me down. The recycling overflows and the compost rots. The 2 dogs fill the house with fur. It is like a second carpet, on top of the carpet in our home. The 2 children fill the house with laughter, and with it, there are diapers and toys, markers and crayons and bits of paper, and scissors and tape. Lots of tape. There are toys in my shoes. I step on prickly sharp things, barbie shoes or blocks, in the dark of night. There are toys and unfolded laundry up the stairs, and on the landing at the top AND the bottom of the stairs. It’s like lava. SOMETIMES, I do not know if the laundry is clean or dirty. Even when it is clean, sometimes the dog fur makes the issue obsolete, and I wash it again. And put it back on the stairs.
There are *things* on every surface and in every orifice of my home. Some of them are where they belong, and others are not. To be honest, I have absolutely no idea where some of them came from and I resent the existence of *things*. We have too much furniture, and the wrong kind, and the colors do not match. The couch is old, and dirty. It is also deep and comfortable and I remember when it was new. We could nap on it together, and that is why we picked this particular one. The paint colors on the walls are wrong, so wrong I feel assaulted by them sometimes. I am saved by the art we have hung, borne from family, friends and characters we have acquainted over the years. The collection is eclectic and comfortable, a display of memories and love.
I fight the gravity pulling me toward the imperfections. I have a job, a hard job, and it creates a second job – endless and beleaguering paperwork. I can never keep up. Sometimes the barbie shoe makes me mad, or the laundry lava threatens to suffocate me. There is no time to paint those offensive walls. I often feel uncomfortable, and yet it’s warm and personable in my home. I want things just so, and my irrational sense of inadequacy precludes me from seeing what is really happening.
Lately, I have embodied defeat. Because all the internal (and sometimes externalized) tantrums have ceased to stop the flow of chaos and the motion of molecules, I am finding the truth. When I can step out of this fussy noise in my mind, I recognize that children are at work here, and as long as there is laughter, we are taking care of exactly what we need to.