Saturday, September 5, 2009


My amazing Sister-in-Law, Lisa watched my kids last week so that Mr Bird and I could go to a play in Salt Lake.
The play was fantastic and could be a post all by itself.
As we entered Lisa's house I was struck by how immaculately clean everything was.
The beautiful hard wood floors literally shone.
Everything smelled fresh and clean.
There was not a bit of dust to be seen anywhere.
Everything was in perfect order, not a book out of place or a toy left out of its proper bin.
I paused for a moment and just wondered at the beauty that was her perfect house.
I admit, I was totally jealous.
I had left my house with the dished done and the floors swept, but little else was done. The toilets needed scrubbed, the tile floors were days past needing a good deep scrub and we are just choking in dust.
Lisa just sent her youngest daughter to college last week.
She home schooled all of her kids since they were just little.
Now that all of her kids are gone she has much more time to clean, once it's clean it stays that way much longer.
Plus she was way less laundry to do now.
As I was talking to her this week I expressed my thoughts and jealousy of her nice clean abode.
She proceeded to tell me of how she had gone up to Jordana's bedroom earlier in the day and noticed how clean it was, that she does not ever remember it being that clean, ever! She then felt the reality of her daughter leaving home and thought how much she would rather have a messy room with Jordana in it than a clean one without her.
That made me start to think about my less than perfect house.
Now when I see a plie of laundry waiting to be folded I think of the time I spent teaching Beano to read that day.
When I see a messy bathroom I think of the time we spent walking along the river and stopping to dip our toes in.
I think of afternoons spent at the Nature Center playing in the sunshine and discovering new animals and habitats and tracks and feathers.
When I see smudges on the tile floor I think of the wonder in Doodle's eyes as we read about a little girl who was just her age when she had to leave her baby sister to escape slavery and fight to find the freedom we enjoy.
I think of the childish laughter that fills the air as they play with friends at park days.
When I see a sticky fridge that is days past needing a good cleaning I think of the time we spent making vvv-rooming noises and racing matchbox cars with Baby Cakes.
I think of messy science experiments in the kitchen and potato guns in the back yard.
When I see dust an inch thick on the book shelves I think of Dubs sitting under the table playing with a car and answering all the questions I ask the kids about the book we just read.
I think about butterfly nets and bugs in empty glass jars or empty strawberry containers
When I see sticky finger prints on the glass windows and doors I think of the peaceful walk on sacred temple grounds and seeing a mom and dad and three small kids all dressed in white who had just had their family sealed together forever as Doodle declares that
'this is where I want to get married!'
Sure I could have a perfectly clean house. I could chose to spend all day everyday cleaning my house and putting off the other things. But I don't, so my house always has something that needs to be done.
And now I am OK with that.
I have posted this quote by Thomas S Monson before, but is seems to have new meaning to me this week.
"If you are still in the process of raising children, be aware that the tiny fingerprints that show up on almost every newly cleaned surface, the toys scattered about the house, the piles and piles of laundry to be tackled will disappear all too soon and that you will—to your surprise—miss them profoundly."
So just for one day (or 2 or 3 or 4) let the house work go and just bask in the simplicity that is childhood! Childhood is its own version of perfection.
P.S. In case you are wondering, I am camera-less once again but we are finally buying one next week. Then watch out, the onslaught of photos will be shameless, shameless I tell you!


Anonymous said...

I love you! I really needed this tonight! Except the part where I feel like you are amazing and I am poo because I don't think I could be as wonderful a homeschool mom as you...but I still want to thank you for the post!
-Tif E...Russ was signed in so I had to choose anon.

Just one tall girl named Laurel said...

AW! Great post! What a good mama you are! Next time I see muddy paw prints on the rug, or the laundry piles up, I'm going to re-read this and remember to count my blessings, not items on my "to-do" list.