I’ve kind of given housework the proverbial finger the last week or so and it has caught up with me. Whenever a rare free moment would present itself, I’d snatch it and run to the sewing machine, ignoring the dishes and ten thousand other household chores needing my attention. Today I’ve discovered there isn’t a single surface of flooring in the entire house I can walk through without having to side-step laundry or toys. Or wads of used tissues. Or crusts of bread. Seriously, it’s bad.
This afternoon as I bounced my fussy baby I waded through dress up clothes, stepped over piles of Legos, kicked aside orphaned shoes and dirty socks peeled off in the middle of the hallway, and wondered who draped their underpants over the banister. I searched in vain for a cozy spot to sit down and nurse. My rocking chair was covered in laundry that hadn’t been put away. The reading chair in the school room had been turned over and made into part of a fort. There were crumbs in the couch cushions and a laundry basket filled with random items the kids were supposed to put away took up most of the love seat. I eventually had to kick some coats and towels off a bench in the entry way so I could sit there.
As I nursed I thought about an entry I read last week over at the Vintage Chica. She wrote about real life and how it’s all how you frame it. I surveyed the chaos and smiled. There was no way on this planet I could possibly frame anything through my camera lens and make it look artfully homey. Then I became my mother and said outloud, “it’s like a bomb went off in here.”
I decided it would be a good challenge. I strapped the baby to my chest, grabbed my camera and surprised myself. I found beauty in the books shoved helter-skelter onto the boys’ shelf. I smiled when I snapped pictures of their various collections of Very Important Things they keep high on their dresser so their sister can’t reach. I grinned when I found my daughter sleeping in her closet, and laughed outright when I saw I could write messages in the dust on my fireplace mantel.
My arms are full of sleeping baby, my leg is asleep due to the funny way I have to hold him to reach the computer keyboard, and my house? Well, it still looks like a bomb went off. But it’s okay. It’s a lived in house. It’s a home. And that’s exactly what I’ve always wanted.