My mother spent the weekend cleaning my house… it’s not looked so clean since, well, since she used to come up weekly and babysit my kids when Jack was a baby. She noted that all my windows were cleaned, save one and I’m not sure if she was hinting that I should clean that particular window myself or just finding glee in my not knowing which one it might be (I kid – she pointed it out to me and asked if I could tell the difference between it and the other clean windows and I was mean and told her that I couldn’t but I totally could because I am a punk). I so appreciate that my mom cleans when she is at my house. I used to hate it. I would spend a bunch of time cleaning before my parents came to visit and still she would go in the bathroom and not come out for a long time because she was cleaning it (not because she fell in, no matter how many times my dad and I would inquire). But now I realize that’s just who she is and what she does. I like to cook and read and spend time with friends, my mom loves to clean and she is good at it.
A friend asked me yesterday where I stood with cleaning. I answered that it isn’t/wasn’t a priority. I mean, we don’t live in filth and I clean things like the toilet, the sinks, the clothes, the dishes, the children but if I was given a day to myself to do whatever I wanted, no matter how untidy my house was, I would never choose to spend my time cleaning. Never. Even if the queen was coming over (she should see how the other side really lives).
I also don’t judge anyone else based on the messiness level of their house, the appearance of dirty dishes on their counter or the stacks of stuff next to their couch. Are their kids happy? Are they happy? Do they seem at peace? Are their families well fed? Do they laugh with their spouses? Do they find time to spend with friends? Those are the things that matter to me. Those are the things that make me know my world is all right and they are the things I wonder about the people in my lives. If cleaning makes my mom happy, more power to her (and please encourage her to come visit me all the time). If running for miles makes you happy – I’ll cheer you on at the finish line. If spending time in solitude and reflection calms your soul – please join me later for some coffee and chocolate. I’ll tell you all about a funny blog I read or my new favorite book and let you listen to a new-to-me song that I’m loving and I’ll for sure talk about my boys – that’s my life – it’s what makes me happy. It’s what’s important (to me).
Besides which, Jack gives me plenty of opportunities to clean… though this particular mess happened on Simon’s watch so he had to clean it up ;). Unlike the time Jack covered the couch, carpet and wood floor (basically everywhere you see couch cushion stuffing above, except more on the cushions) with swirls of chocolate syrup, that was all my fun and responsibility.