Why I’ll Never Ask Her to Clean Out Her Room Again

There comes a time in every parent’s life when they take a peek into their youngest child’s room and decide they’ve had enough.

Enough of the teeny tiny toys that pierce the tender undersides of feet.

Enough of the stuffed animals covering the floor like carpet.

Enough of the doll clothes strewn like confetti.

Enough of the two crayons and 4 markers randomly located in the four corners of the room. Along with the 15 pieces of tape strategically placed on blankets, dresser, floor, and animals. (What is that all about, anyway? Do I even want to know??)

Enough!

Last weekend, the time had come for this parent.

“Alright Sweetgirl, mama’s all done with this toys-on-the-floor business. Let’s get this room cleaned out.”

This little announcement, as you can imagine, was not met with joy and excitement.

I began gathering all of the things we would need to clean up this mini-human explosion in the purple room down the hall. Baskets of varying sizes (I had delusions of organizational grandeur), laundry basket, big black trash bag that you could fit a human into.

“Why do we need a trash bag, mama? NOT THE TRASH BAG!?!” (The way you just read that last sentence? Not one ounce of exaggeration in how she presented her case against the dreaded trash bag.)

There are some parents for whom a messy room is their child’s problem, not theirs. It doesn’t bother them one eensy bit. They can roll with it.

Unfortunately for Sweetgirl, I am not one of them. You can only close the door on disaster so many times.

We set to work picking up the stuffed animals, first. As I lifted each one, I’d hold it up for her and ask, “Are we still in love with this one?”

I’m happy to report that she made a fairly large pile of stuffies to donate. Her mantra, each time she opted to let one go was, “It’s someone else’s turn to love them.”

Bless. (Her)

Happy Dance. (Me)

We talked through each meticulously curated pile of toys. She informed me, for example, that the lined paper cut into the shape of a haphazard oval was vital to the comfort of her mermaid Squinkie toy. But, that the pink glitter crayon lying beside them both was magical and couldn’t be moved.

Story after explanation after rationalization was doled out, in the hopes that some piles could remain.

Nope.

We finally got to our last corner of the room, when Sweetgirl put her hand on my shoulder and said, “I love you Mama. You listen to my stories.”

And that? That earned her a smooch and a hug. And a nice long break to admire what we had accomplished, so far.

I told her we could quit for the day. But, she opted to finish what we had started. So, we did.

As we finally, blessedly, wrapped up, I started dragging the trash bag of to-be-donated stuffed animals down the stairs. But, I had to pause on the second step. She had made her way into Sweetboy’s room to tell him something “important”.

“I’m a big kid now, brother,” she informed him.

He asked her why.

“Because, mama and I cleaned out all of my little girl toys today. So now, I’ve got a big girl room.”

A tear rolled down this cheek of mine. It was never my intention to clear out her little girl toys. I never anticipated a need to make her room a “big girl” room. But, she saw it as a rite of passage somehow. It meant something completely different, and, well… big, to her.

I don’t think I’ll ever ask her to clean her room out again.

Well played, little one. Yes indeedy… well played.

Muddy Footprints and Stale Air

More routine doctor’s appointments, state-wide school testing, and illnesses have hit us upside the head than should be legal.

We’re muddling through.

Aren’t we all pretty much muddling through?

I keep putting one foot in front of the other – determined to see this school year through to the end.

The Lord has had infinite mercy on us, up here in New England, as we’ve been able to get away without another snow day tacked on to the end of our school year. This brings me indescribable joy. Indeed. As a former elementary school teacher, I know full well how desperate we all become for The End.

The Sweetkids are up to their springtime tricks, tracking in an endless stream of muddy footprints.  Their preoccupation with the green stuff sprouting underneath the finally melting snow is almost as keen as mine is for us to finally be able to get this stale air out of the house!

Out, stale air! OUT!

Vacation. That’s what I keep telling myself that I need. And I am indeed blessed to be able to take it, coming up here in a couple of weeks. But, I can’t shake the feeling that this intense need I feel for a get-away has more to do with the stale feeling in my heart than with winter’s remnants in my home.

God, as always, is able to show me what I need to see.

Heart_Space_Airing_Missindeedy

He’s showing me that my heart space needs an airing out.

The desperation I’ve been feeling has far more to do with what I haven’t spent enough time cultivating. Just like the blades of grass become greener with each day nearer to the son, my heart is much the same.  The deeper spiritual choices are the ones that have been neglected.

I have found that nothing alleviates the labor of breathing in thick stale air such as the Fresh Wind of Grace does. To feel it blowing so near to where I need it most makes me fall to my knees, in relief.

And instantly, He reveals what is needed.

Grace.

Again.

This just makes my grasp on the human condition all the more firm, though. Recounting the number of times I have need of the grace He offers me… it could make a human feel hopeless.

Until…

I receive His beautiful Word blowing through my heart. Yes. I welcome Him in and gulp down each fresh breeze sent my way. He revives me. And inspires me.

Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope.”

Watching that stale air move on out, I can get to work sweeping out the dust that has settled too thickly. While I’m cleaning, I’m just gonna head over there and attack some of those muddy footprints, too.

Yes indeedy.

 

How To Be a Stellar Procrastinator

It’s been a rough couple of weeks around our house. We’ve had strep throat rip through the house twice.  Good times. And just prior to that, we sent The Nana and Ahab home with colds and ear infections.

We like to send people off with parting gifts.

On another note, being stuck in bed allowed me to get the majority of my Christmas shopping done early.  I felt pretty great about that until I dropped the kidlets off this morning and came home to a room full of boxes that now needed to be opened, the contents wrapped, and All Of The Boxes broken down and taken to the recycling center.  That just makes me six kinds of tired typing about it.  I think I’ll tackle that one tomorrow.

Or not.

I still have seven more days until they absolutely HAVE to be wrapped.  I am nothing if not a Stellar Procrastinator.  Oh, yes I am!

In the midst of all this mess, I borrowed Sparkles’ vacuum cleaner… and broke it.  You wouldn’t believe how if I told you (but it involves finally having a vacuum cleaner with enough power to say… clean the house, and being so ecstatic about it that I went into a very uncareful cleaning frenzy. Or something along those lines.)

The vacuum cleaner was so awesome, in fact, (and cheap enough that Sweetman agreed to it), that when I bought Sparkles a replacement, I bought one for myself, too.

I’ve been a vacuuming fool ever since.

Seriously.

A fool.

Because there are approximately 10 family members’ worth of gifts to be unboxed and wrapped.

But I don’t think I really need to vacuum in there today.

It’s a Good Day When…

So, you may remember that Sweetgirl took off for Kindergarten yesterday. I survived. She thrived.

Getting_On_Bus_Missindeedy

Pretty great story, huh?

But wait! There’s more…

I was cleaning out the refrigerator and  freezer (because HELLO! You can totally do things like that when the house is quiet.  Don’t ask me why the house has to be quiet for me to be able to clean out a fridge.  I don’t understand it either.  But it does. And it was. ) And a couple of interesting things happened.

First of all, I know you are So Stinkin Stoked to read on.  Who wouldn’t want to know more about what some random person that you “know” on the Internet found while cleaning out their fridge and freezer.  I mean, could it get any better than that??

Right.

So, while cleaning out the fridge, I came across this lovely thing:

Cracked_Up_Fridge_MissindeedyNow, my fingers were Oh So Glad that they didn’t find this before my eyes did. Since I am prone to passing out at the sight of my own blood; and I was home alone at the time… Are you tracking me? I could have bled out, for crying out loud! And we’ll just leave it at that.  God is good.

Moving on…

I found something truly special, though, stashed in one of Sweetman’s frosty mugs in the freezer.  Not. Even. Kidding. And I know he didn’t put them there, because he doesn’t even like these things. I blame genetic free-fall for forgetting I’d hidden them there.  I don’t even care how long they’ve been in hiding.  They are mine. All mine.

ThinMint_Find_Missindeedy

Guess what mama’s havin’ for dessert tonight?!?  Thin Mints, I heart thee. Oh, yes indeedy!

AND AND AND, Sweetman just leaned over and delivered The Most Delicious piece of news! DRAKE’S IS COMING BACK IN SEPTEMBER!  People! This is a miracle of epic proportions! My beloved Devil Dogs are coming back!  Back from the dead! They are coming back for me! (No exclamation points were harmed in the making of this paragraph.  Overused? Yes.  Harmed? No.)

I could die happy.

After September, of course.

Happy Hump Day my friends! Your welcome.

Finding Out I Belong on an Episode of Hoarders

Hi. My name is Missy, and I’m a Hoarder. Of greeting cards. I’m not sure how, or even when, this travesty began for me. Truly. But it has become painfully obvious that I need an intervention.

Because I like to do exciting things in my downtime, like clean out cabinets that haven’t been investigated since the dinosaurs roamed the earth, I found myself knee-deep in my “hold-all bin”.  Please, tell me that you have one, too? In our house, it’s the bin that holds bills, checkbooks, sewing kit, deck of cards, extra reading glasses that no one ever remembers we (I) own,  library cards from the town we used to live in 18 years ago, and whatnot.

And here is what I came to realize.

I have a greeting card addiction problem.  I give you, Exhibit A:

Card Hoarder

Would you care for a card?

Greeting card after birthday card after “Happy 2nd Birthday, Daughter” card (and my Sweetgirl is going to be FIVE people!) was pulled out.

Oh. My. Lanta!

The case against me was building quickly. With each anniversary card that I pulled out, I became more and more apprehensive about my ability to ever be left alone in the presence of a greeting card store without a chaperone, again.  I present Exhibit B:

Anniversary Card Hoarding

Here are the five I can show you.

No need to send in the cavalry.  Sweetman walked into the kitchen and literally stopped up short, mouth hanging open.  When he had composed himself, he said, and I quote, “Honey, you might have a problem.”

Indeed.