I spent all morning picking up. I emptied two junk drawers, threw out trash littered and stashed in crevices throughout the house. I took the sheets off our bed and put them into the washer, and I took down random Christmas decorations that were accidentally left up. I made a meal plan for the company we are expecting for Edward's baptism and wrote out a huge shopping list so I wouldn't forget what to buy. I prepared lunch for Christopher and Camille and then I cajoled Camille into a nap with promises of an after-slumber candy cane. While everyone was resting, I made a meat loaf and a side of mashed potatoes. I checked in with John and asked him if we could bring the stuff piled in corners to Goodwill. In between all this, I kept Edward fed and clean and I even read snippets from a novel.
Soon the kids will come home and I'll help Patrick and Meaghan with their math and grammar. I'll put the finishing touches on dinner, serve it and clean the kitchen--again. I'll send the boys off to Cub Scouts and I'll let the girls turn on the television (I'm sure it will be My Little Pony). I'll put Camille in her Christmas fleece footie pajamas and read her some picture books---her favorites right now are those from the
. When the boys return, I'll help them hang up their coats and then I'll send everyone to bed while John fills the wood furnace. I'll climb the stairs and make the bed with the sheets that have been sitting in the dryer all day. I'll say my rosary and John and I will have a snack together and we'll probably watch some old
re-runs and comment on Sam and Diane's toxic romantic relationship. We'll chat about the upcoming week and how to make it all happen.
When all this is finished, I'll go to bed so l can get up and do it all again, tomorrow.
There's nothing corporate or high powered happening over here. More often than not, even the basics are hard for me, a daily bath is a luxury.
, boring even. But if it were taken away from me tomorrow because of illness or death or some other tragic circumstance, I would mourn the loss of my unexotic life. I would mourn the ability to put the laundry in the dryer and fold it neatly into stacks and place it into drawers. I would miss preparing hearty meals for my family and rocking babies and wrapping toddlers in mounds of terry cloth after evening baths. I would miss sitting at the table during while my first grader
reads Dr. Suess's
I would miss all of these small, seemingly unimportant activities I accomplish in a day and I would miss the important message I'm able to communicate--without ever using words-- to my family while I do them: I love you.
And that's a message they desperately need to hear.
We all do, I think.
So I'll sweep the floor and I'll pick up the Legos and on good days, I'll even remember to thank God for my working body and the way I'm able to show my love as I cook and clean and launder through the glorious mess of family life.