Today I was sitting on the floor in my school room trying to clean up a little bit and play with Libby at the same time. I saw the accumulated dirt and dust against the wall where the brick meets the tile and remembered how not that long ago, the bricks were freshly painted and after painting them I had gotten on my hands and knees (pregnant) and scrubbed every square inch of the floor. I thought to myself, "I just need to be friends with the dirt." (Oh the things you think when you're sleep deprived and overwhelmed.)
Dirt, dust, and I have a very strained relationship. I hate them, and they are not welcome in my home. But I've learned to live with them since it seems there is nothing I can do to make them go away. Sometimes they even bring their friends Mold and Mildew but that's where I try to put my foot down. Yet even they somehow find a way to move in and take up residence in the bathroom and on my windowsills when it's cold out.
I've heard it said (and agree) that I'd rather be remembered as a Mom who took the time to play with her kids versus a Mom who kept her house spic and span. But if I'm really honest, I'd rather be remembered as a Mom who could do both. I've decided I'm tired of trying. What I've come up with is that I teach my kids how to do chores and we all have fun working together as a family. But even though my kids have learned a lot already and can do quite a bit, they are not quite big enough to play the roll of bouncer to those unwanted visitors. In fact, they seem to invite them in. Mud waltzes in, laughing at me, on the shoes of my toddler. Germs score points when my baby eats random dried food off the floor. Grime sneaks up on me, victorious once again. And my freshly cleaned floors prostitute themselves at any cost. They call to the children, "Hey baby, we're clean! Don't you want to pee on us or spill your sticky juice? Come on over! I'm yours!"
So I think the friendship idea is a good one. Me and my mess might as well learn how to live with each other; get along even. Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and make a new friend. Because I'm tired of letting them get the best of me. I hereby refuse to let them make me feel guilty, make fun of me, or cause me any more lost sleep. I promise to remember that at any moment I CAN obliterate them, for I hold precious weapons such as bleach and oxy clean. But when they decide to take over sometimes, I'm just going to smile and say, "Hey, how are you? Come on in, let's be friends." And then, like a seventh grade temporary friendship with the popular girl, I'll sweep them up and stab them in the back. Take that.
Me and dirt. BFF.