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Thursday, May 12, 2011

If Your Room is Always Clean, I'm Jealous of You

Just now when I was picking laundry off the floor of my girls' chronically disheveled room, mentally giving the lecture about how their room could be clean all the time if they would simply put each thing back where it goes instead of dropping it on the floor, I had a sudden flashback that made me chuckle.

I was at an overnight birthday party of a newish girl in our neighborhood. Her mother was sharing a few "get-to-know-you" facts about the birthday girl, including that she always kept her room clean. My 8-year-old self was completely awed by this bit of information. I think I incredulously asked her, "Really? Your room is always clean?" I remember her shrugging and saying yeah, it was pretty easy. I was just blown away. As in, "Who is this strange wunderkind who is come among us, who is able to do this thing?"

I guess my girls come by their messiness honestly.  When I started this post, I was thinking I could include a photo of their room in its current state as an illustration. Then I realized that wouldn't be fair unless I was also willing to post a current photo of my own room, and well, yeah.

I love, long for, and strive for cleanliness, order, and tidiness. Sadly, maintaining them has never come naturally to me.

I have a friend who says she tells her husband, "Please, if I die, don't let people come over to help clean and get things in order. I'd just be humiliated for people to see my house when it's dirty. You guys clean everything before you let anybody come over."

I, on the other hand, have told Peter that if people want to come and help him clean up and clear things out when I die, then that can be my dying gift to humanity: to let them see how I really lived, and feel better about themselves by contrast.


Erin said...

I was looking for the "like" button. Oops.

My daughter likes to point out how messy my room is when I'm telling her to clean hers. I tell her I'd be happy to clean mine if she'd clean the rest of the house so I had time. (Although the rest of my house is also a mess, unfortunately)

Anonymous said...

I keep meaning to tell you that Mary Ann McF was telling me how even if you post pics of your kids' messes on your blog, that the background always looks nice and neat, and she was impressed by how clean you keep your home in spite of your kids. I said I thought you would be happy to hear that. :)

My window-seat-type windowsill in my bedroom has had boxes of unsorted outgrown or to-be-grown-into clothes on it for, um, years. That's one of the things that was hard to come home to after vacation. (I had also really hoped to get the boxes out of there--even just dump them in the basement--before grandparents stayed here, but couldn't even manage that.)

Tracy Hall Jr said...

The loving relationships in your home trump any occasional untidiness in the physical arrangements.

Julie Q. said...

Wait. You mean you're not perfect? You mean your home is not always a paradoxical haven of creativity AND order? I still don't believe it. :)

mermaids said...

I don't think too people are "always neat." I think they clean like mad before someone comes over. I know I do. :) You know you are good friends with someone when you no longer feel the urge to clean like mad before they come over.

Last summer, I was laid up with knee surgeries. Husband left town 4 days after my biggest surgery. (whole other story....) I wasn't allowed to go down the stairs for two weeks. We gave spare keys to neighbors to bring meals to me. It was gut wrenching to know people were in my house and I had no idea if the kitchen was disaster area... or if the boys had been keeping it clean.

Grandma & Pop-pop said...

It is interesting to me, that most of my children are neat and tidy. It is the natural order of things for kids to not want to grow up to be their parents in at least some ways. I'm grateful that my kids have become like me in all the really important ways--love for the Lord and the Gospel, love of family, and a willingness to make do and work hard. I hope they all continue to be willing to forgive their parents their foibles.

You are an amazing family!

Love & Hugs

Aunt Ginger