"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, December 11, 2008

These Are The Days

There is so much to do. So much to do around every corner, and even more so, there is something lurking around every corner to make me feel guilty. This morning it was the dirty bathroom that is in desperate need of a good scrubbing. Last night it was the precious 45 minutes that Cody and I were in the same house together (he has had to work really late in the last few weeks). But during that time, all I wanted to do was be alone.

For 24 hours a day there is someone needing something from me. There is never enough of me to go around and last night I just wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. So I did. That's how Cody and I spent our time together late last night after he finally got home. He let me cry on his shoulder and it was a good release for me.

For days I've been trying to find time to catch up my blog, which doubly serves as my journal. But of course, there has been no time for that. The days are short and there aren't enough hours in them. At the end of the day I sit back and look at what I've accomplished and all I have to show for it are clean kids sleeping in their beds and a disaster of a house, beckoning me to clean it. But when that time FINALLY comes each night, all I muster the energy for is to clean the kitchen, sometimes sweep the floor, and collapse on the couch, sometimes in tears.

Yesterday I took a warm wet rag and went along my microfiber couches trying to clean off the remains of what could only be sticky candy marks. Ever since October candy coated finger prints adorn every surface of this house. So as I went along and meticulously scrubbed each candy mark off, I looked behind me to see Lauren with a half eaten candy cane hanging out of her mouth and her bright pink wet hands wiping right along my freshly cleaned places. I could have screamed. This seems to be the story of my life.

So finally at 10:45 last night when Cody was home, I sobbed as I chipped dried, crusty, leftover frosting off the table from the gibgerbread house we made a few nights ago. It's something I've been trying to get to for days. I needed a chisel to get it all off. As I relayed to Cody the hardships of the day (it was just one of those days in every sense of the word) he laughed and told me that the messes will be there tomorrow, but our sweet babies won't always be there. He said to cherish the finger prints and damaged furniture. He then reminded me of a story that Erma Bombeck wrote. It's actually a story that I read to him a while back, and it's funny that HE had to remind me of it.

One of these days you'll explode and shout to the kids, "Why don't you grow up and act your age?"
......and they will.


"You guys get outside and find yourselves something to do. And don't slam the door!"
......and they don't.

You'll straighten up the boys' bedroom neat and tidy -- bumper stickers discarded, bedspread tucked and smooth, toys displayed on the shelves. Hangers in the closet. Animals caged. And you'll say out loud, "Now I want it to stay this way.''
.......and it will.

You'll prepare a perfect dinner with a salad that hasn't been picked to death and a cake with no finger traces in the icing, and you'll say, "Now, there's a meal for company.''
.....and you'll eat it alone.

You'll say: "I want complete privacy on the phone. No dancing around. No demolition crews. Silence! Do your hear?''
.....and you'll have it.

No more plastic tablecloths stained with spaghetti.

No more bedspreads to protect the sofa from damp bottoms.

No more gates to stumble over at the top of the basement steps.

No more clothespins under the sofa.

No more playpens to arrange a room around.

No more anxious nights under a vaporizer tent.

No more sand on the sheets.

No more iron-on-patches, wet, knotted shoestrings, tight boots, or rubber bands for ponytails.

Imagine. A lipstick with a point on it.

No baby sitter for New Year's Eve.

Washing only once a week.

Seeing a steak that isn't ground.

Having your teeth cleaned without a baby on your lap.

No PTA meetings.

No car pools.

No blaring radios.

No one washing her hair at 11 o'clock at night.

Having your own roll of Scotch tape.

No more dandelion bouquets.

Think about it. No more Christmas presents out of toothpicks and library paste.

No more sloppy oatmeal kisses.

No more tooth fairy.

No giggles in the dark.

No knees to heal, no responsibility.

Only a voice crying, "Why don't you grow up?'' and the silence echoing,
"I did."

So I went and dug out the book containing this story and as I read it, all I could think of is that one day this house will be silent and I'll long for the days when I had a toddler following me around undoing all of the cleaning I'd just done. These days are going so quickly and before long, I'll have the clean house that I long for. So for now, I'm going to appreciate the messes because all it means is that a family lives here. We play, we laugh, we cry, we fight, and chaos is a constant in this home...but so is love.

Never before and never since, I promise
will the whole world be warm as this
and as you feel it, you'll know it's true
that you are blessed and lucky
it's true, that you are touched by something
that will grow and bloom in you

these are days you'll remember

when May is rushing over you with desire
to be part of the miracles you see in every hour
you'll know it's true, that you are blessed and lucky
it's true, that you are touched by something
that will grow and bloom in you

these are the days
that you might fill with laughter
until you break

-Natalie Merchant


bethany said...

Thanks for the reminder Veronica-I was sitting here feeding Storey and thinking, it will be so nice when she can finally hold her own bottle and I can get something done instead of sitting here-and then I read your post. I know I should be appreciating the short time in her life that she wants to be held and fed by me-too soon she'll hate me and slam doors when I tell her she can't date yet :) Sometimes I need a reminder! You are not alone in your thoughts!!

Ute Family said...

Don't you just love those reminders. I think they are wonderful. We must cherish these moments because, yes, they do go by too fast. Thanks for the reminder!

PhillipsFam said...

That was nice and appropriate for me too!! thanks! hope the rest of the month frees you up w/ just enough time to really enjoy the holidays!

Jeanette said...

I am living that too. Wishing they'd clean up after themselves, but hoping they never out grow a need for me. I loved the quote you used.

Lynnae said...

Thanks, V. It's good to put things into perspective. Time with your kids is way too short!

Living My Dream said...

Love you tons Veronica... feeling so many of the same things you are feeling... just know that you have a friend praying for you!

Mike, Jules, Gabee and Izee said...

Veronica... laughed, cried, loved this entry... How many moms can relate to having 'one of those days'... Cleaning.... ughhhh... hate it!! and with little ones, it is never done.. it is never over. It is always in need of being cleaned!!

I am going to go kiss both of my little girls right now!! Thanks for this one...