I’m reading Little House in the Big Woods, a childhood favorite, to Aviana.
“Sometimes Ma let Laura and Mary go across the road and down the hill, to see Mrs. Peterson. The Petersons had just moved in. Their house was new, and always very neat, because Mrs. Peterson had no little girls to muss it up.”
It’s funny to think that back in the 1870’s. the Ingalls girls had one doll apiece, one pair of shoes, a few different dresses, and spent as much time as possible out-of-doors and still Laura knew they mussed up the house.
I am feeling particularly frustrated with the state of my home. Distorted thinking or not, I feel like such a failure when the newspaper sticks to the gunk on the counter; Cheerios stick to my feet as I walk across the kitchen; no sooner do I get the table cleared off someone wants to make rainbows-involving cutting, pasting, coloring, and glitter glue; assorted toys and tutus are lounging in the living room and the laundry is amassing by the minute.
I put Brielle down to play so I can use both hands to empty the dishwasher and load the tottering tower of dishes, and she promptly disgorges the plasticware drawer, tossing lids and containers hither and yon (mostly yon) with delightful abandon. She really needs a nap, and as soon as that task is accomplished, she’s back in my arms, fussing and whining so that I can hardly bend over to put in the dishes.
I. just. want. to. establish. an. appearance. of. order. PLEASE.
Then I sit and nurse and and read Little House, and think how sad that sentence is “because she had no little girls to muss it up.” What would I do without my little girls?
I can’t imagine going back to living with everything staying just where I put it; with no one trying my shoes on for size and having to reminded to put them away; with no one twirling wildly through the house, singing an Aviana version of some song or other; with no bright eyed gigantic Brielle grin as she mischeiveously dumps all the colored pencils out to hear their delicious noise; with no one following me around clamoring, “I want to help you, Mama!”
Oh, I just can’t imagine!
I met an empty nest couple at church on Sunday whose youngest is graduating from college. They told me it seemed just like yesterday when they too had a baby on one hip, a toddler in hand, with the diaper bag and the toddler’s church bag thrown over the shoulder. They told me how lucky I am. They told me they miss it. They told me it goes by too fast.
It’s hard to believe that someday there’ll be no sticky juice brightening my counters or glitter glue garnishing my table or recently mouthed crackers adorning my floor.
Please God, don’t let it come too soon. Let me love these moments here and now. Remind me of what is important in life–taking joy in my babies, not a house that is always very neat, because I am so blessed to have little girls to muss it up!