Okay, so today started as one of those bad days you wished you could just pull up the covers and stay in bed and after about an hour or so awake you're sure of it:
- baby woke up 2x in the night,
- 4 yr. daughter, who hasn't had an accident in months, wet the bed around 2am,
- Son had 2 major potty accidents, one right as we were walking out the door
- it was cold, dark and rainy on grocery shopping day--isn't getting 3 kids 4 and under and all your groceries in and out of the car enough without rain?!
- somehow the house exploded with mess; how could I clean out the mud room when I can't even walk across the kitchen to get there?!
- and we seemed to have no food
But then I thought about the idea of "Splendor in the Ordinary." What I felt I needed at that moment was rescue--a trip to a faraway island, a coffee and a book all to myself, my husband to come home immediately! Surely there was no beauty in my current circumstances...
Though I longed to escape, I tried to become present to my tasks. My husband always says, when I get overwhelmed like this, "Just work slowly and well." And so, I stopped and listened and looked.
Though the day was overcast, I noticed that it created a stark contrast to the white of our dogwood tree. Though it poured, I noticed that it left a lovely shower of pink blossoms on the sidewalks up and down our street.
I heard my children playing make-believe as Elizabeth and Zachariah, waiting for their son John to be born, I fixed my son's toy car (not high on my priorities), I included my daughter in my cleaning, we read a good book together.
I went slowly through the grocery store--baby in front pack, son in cart, daughter with list--and people smiled. (Usually, even when I've tried to get us tidied before we get to the store, we get stares and well-meaning comments like, "My, you have your hands full!") But today, each of my children at different moments brought happiness to someone. And my 2 year old son when going up for his nap, wrapped his pudgy arms around my neck and said, "Mom, I want to marry you."
The house and yard need to be purged of the build-up of winter grime. The windows need to be opened and everything aired out. But most of all, today it was my heart that needed the "clean sweep." Freed from expectations, freed from a sense of busyness, freed to be present to those with me, who will one day realize that you can't marry your mom and, in fact, she is the last person you'd want to marry anyway, but for today, I am the most important person in his world.
The funny thing is that even though I slowed down we still ate all three meals, the kitchen stocked again, the house cleaned, and laundry caught up.
I've included a few of the before and after pictures, just in case you don't believe me. They are for the Spring Cleaning Party being held over at Simple Mom. I loved her idea to start all cleaning projects by doing a "Clean Sweep" so go check it out. I hope to participate over the next two weeks!
Check back in tomorrow for more Summer Preparation Ideas too!