Sunday, February 13, 2011

the best mess

I am still slowly crawling out of being sick. It's not the severity of this virus so much as the duration that gets you. I knew what to expect because I caught it from Sami (Hand, foot and mouth- generally a childhood illness but I guess I am extra lucky), and all I could think was this:
Lord, I can handle being a single mom (during the week while Jim is away). 
I can handle three kids who don't sleep.  
I can handle moving for the fifth time in seven years.  
I cannot handle a 7-10 day fever!
Well, apparently I not only could handle it but in fact it was good for me to be down for a few days. There were two baskets of clean laundry that sat unfolded in the middle of our living room since Tuesday. I don't tend to let things like that go, in fact I'm rather fanatic about picking up and this week made me realize how much time I waste keeping my house clean.
I hate that it takes me getting sick before I will finally stop and sit and be. Be with my kids, not doing a craft with them or letting them help me in the kitchen . . . just be with them, at their level, on their terms.
I am really bad at stopping for any length of time. I'll pause on the floor for a few minutes, and then I get anxious. I start making lists. Or decide that we should do something educational. Or I shift into Idea Mode and come up with some project to do.
This week there was nothing to do but sit, and roll the ball, or build a tent, or cuddle on the couch. This week I didn't feel well, but I laughed more than I usually do. And I noticed a new growing up in her, and an expression that I had never seen in her. And she and I had some good talks.  
This week there wasn't anywhere to hurry to be.  
I didn't say "just a minute" five thousand times a day.
I kept asking myself, if I weren't sick, what would I be doing? Because it seems I am always doing something- but what is it? I probably would have cooked better meals, ran a few errands, maybe had a playdate, kept the house cleaner- all good things- but surprisingly, not as crucial as I think. And I would have spent a lot of time obsessing over packing, and would have started sorting and wrapping and convinced myself that what I was doing was more important.
Because there is always something more important.
I need to learn to live with the clutter, the grimy counter, the sticky floor.
I need to learn how to leave things unfinished,
and be present.
Because these three daughters of mine?
They are so far more important.
I love this time of life.
I don't want to miss any of it.
(So thankful for my mom for helping me out and Jim for taking an extra day off work to be home with us.)
We still don’t have a place to live.  In fact, the two places we thought we could make work have been taken, so now we are back to square one.  It will all work out.

2 comments:

camilla said...

Just when I think I'm making headway, being okay with extra mess I start to think, "Oh no, what if someone stops by and see it!" Such a selfish thought. Image management always sees to surface.

Sorry you've been sick. If we lived closer I'd have your three over to play with my three, even if they might be carrying germs with them. :)

Fijufic said...

Way to make lemons out of lemonade!

Always lovely even when you are ill....

Cheers,
Bobby