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Monday, May 30, 2011

Good Intentions

Well, I had great intentions to try and do a massive picture update.  Then, it would appear, the blog gods frowned upon me and I can't seem to upload any pictures.  Weird.  Annoying.  So, I'll ramble on for a bit...

I've got a bit of a conundrum, and I'm not sure how to fix it.  Or rather, fix me.  It seems that I'm a study in contradiction, and I'm making me crazy.  One part of me, the interior designer part, is very particular.  I like things a certain way--arranged a certain way, treated a certain way, stored a certain way.  And I try very hard to make the offspring conform to my lofty ideals.  Then there is another (equally loud), artist part of me that firmly believes in coloring outside the lines, thinking outside the box, basically laughing in the face of traditional "normal" confines.

Gracious living.  We don't clomp, we delicately stride.  We don't plop, we seat ourselves nicely.  We don't wear shoes in the house, we deposit them neatly on the shelves that Daddy built.  It's how we behave so that we can develop good manners and preserve my home.

Except...

The other part of me thinks--well, if you're going to be an astronaut, of course you need to wear your snow boots.  That only makes sense.  And, while you shouldn't really use the ottoman to vault, my goodness that was good form.  And even though now I've got diapers all over kingdom come, I can see that you needed to cut up the box to make surf boards.  Because, after all, you did make one for everyone.  I get it when they come in asking for pipe cleaners, or use entire rolls of tape.  I would like to do that too. 

The crazy-haired artist in me doesn't seem to bat an eye when they need to use chopsticks for an art project or when they ask me for wood scraps or paint or glue.  And while I don't enjoy having my fabric stash raided, that's sometimes the only way you can make a cape with an "E" on the back.  I wish a little that I noticed before they pillaged my cache of extra glue sticks, but I can understand that it takes a "pretty much" of glue to get that big of a box stuck together.  I'm sympathetic to their need to use the recyclables for projects (...the way I hang old windows on my walls like art...).

It's just hard, because then the interior designer comes out and says "Why are all these cardboard scraps in my house?  Who decided to make a boat out of the sofa?  Where are my measuring cups??? Why can't this house stay clean for more than two minutes??"  And it doesn't help that I have a love-hate-but-mostly-hate relationship with house cleaning. 

But.  I figure that when they're all grown, I will miss the slide-wagon-crate concoctions I find in the back yard.  That I'll wish I had a few more strawberry box snail habitats around.  That I'll have to make the bath crayon pictures on the shower walls all by myself.  And I'll probably be very bored with a house of quiet, gracious living.

*sniff*
I'm going to go pass out glue sticks now before my kids grow up.

6 love notes:

HangerMom said...

Amen to every word of that! Except you seem to let them do the art more often than me. I struggle, struggle, struggle with this issue. BUT, I have been reflecting a lot on my future quiet home, as Nathaniel's youngest sister graduated from HS this year and his mother will have an empty nest for the first time in 36 years in the fall... and it will be clean and quiet and gracious (except when I bring my kids to visit), and someday we ours will be too. So yeah. I should relax about that empty roll of tape I found today. I just wish I could figure out where they used it...

Karen said...

Little ones can make quite big messes, eh? Joyful, creative, wonderful messes though. I just have to have all the messes cleaned up by bedtime so I can light a vanilla candle, sip some herbal tea, and enjoy my clean house for 5 minutes before I collapse into bed and get all ready for the next day's messes.

Amy said...

Love it. I have the same struggle.

Happy Mom said...

I'm not sure why it's so reassuring to see ourselves in others.

This was VERY reassuring!

Things' Mommy said...

HangerMom, ha ha--I don't know that I 'let them do art' as much as they just 'do art'. :) I think this is just the season of "fostering creativity"...later will be the season of "clean house." At least, that's what I keep telling myself. :)

Karen, it astounds me that you have all the messes cleaned up by bedtime. You're amazing, as usual. I'd love to live near you and we can light vanilla candles together.

Amy, I don't believe you. I will always remember that I 'dropped by' after you just had Benjamin and you had vacuum lines in your carpet. You're one of 'them'. :)

Happy Mom, it IS reassuring to know you're not the only one. In whatever it is--you're not the only one. :) You're amazing, by the way.

Gina said...

I love you so much! You are such a thoughtful mother.