Poppi and Nona are coming to visit this weekend! We are very excited over here, and also noticing a few things that have changed.
Before Clara was born, when we had empty closets in our house, and I didn’t spend 20 minutes in the bathroom at Costco cleaning a diaper blowout and then walking around with poop on my sleeves, Sam and I used to clean the HELL out of our house before his parents came to stay.
I’m talking: vacuuming ceiling fans. wiping down baseboards. touching up wall paint. organizing shelves in the garage. All stuff they probably never noticed and never would have cared about at all- they just wanted to come see their kids. But we had some strange need to present our absolute best by way of our house, like, hey look mom and dad! We ALWAYS bleach and iron our white duvet cover! And why yes, those bath mats are freshly washed every week just like they should be…
Today we started our usual “family is coming” preparations, but the preparations look a little different these days. Yes, we still participate in a few irrational cleaning spurts (“of course, Sandy and Debbie, our cars are always cleaned out and vacuumed.” WHY, sam and jessie? WHY? So stupid.)
The thing is, no matter how hard we try, our house is never as clean as it used to be. Bookshelves are scattered with toys. Bottle parts and pumping equipment fill the sink. Laundry, in a dark revolving door of deja vu, never seems to be done. I mopped our floors, but Clara will spit up on them later tonight. I dusted our shelves and desks, and then immediately covered them again with the same piles of textbooks, writing manuscripts, binders, bags, letters to address, cameras, and the same pencils and papers that polluted them before.
It cannot be helped. We live here. Now more than ever before, we LIVE here. The footsteps of our lives echo a different beat, one that follows the opening and closing of our garage door, the lunches packed in and out each day, a baby and the thousands of textiles her existence encourages (blankets and blankets and blankets galore- it’s like she’s constantly on the verge of building a fort for all of her other baby friends.) We used to be minimalists, I swear. We had unused drawers in our bathrooms, cavernous cupboards in our kitchen, you could’ve moved us to another continent with three duffle bags and a half day’s notice.
And by golly, we CLEANED like we meant it!
But not today, my friends. Not really any of these new days, actually. We’d rather take pictures of our 5-month old daughter and her naked dimpled tush, of her tap-tap-tapping squishy toes, of her wicked anti-bedtime smiles. We need a minute to feel our hearts warm up when she interlaces her impossibly tiny fingers through ours. We have songs to sing and cheeks to chew, jammies to zip and giggles to coax, stories to read and more snuggling instead of homework or chores than we’d ever admit.
So if you want to come to my house, or if you are Sam’s parents and you wake up all weekend to a pair of Smoochie eyes with stars of delight bursting clean through the deep blue irises…
Pardon our piles, and please excuse the old milk smell on our t-shirts.
But feel free to kiss our sweet girl. She loves a good open-mouthed slobber fest. 🙂