It’s a week now that we’ve been back at school, and I’ve never been so efficient in my life. Last week, while I was teaching my Winterim course and working on grading those pesky exams (the ones I gave before Christmas break, the ones I didn’t really want to grade during Christmas break, the ones that tried (and tried) to hang over my head every day while I enjoyed my Christmas break– you know, those exams), I also accomplished Amazing Things at home.
Witness my daughter’s walk-in closet. Beautifully reorganized. The baby toys that I still can’t bear to give away are sorted and removed to higher shelves; the puzzles stacked Just So, the blankets neatly folded. Now all of Emma’s toys are readily apparent and accessible and Look! there is the floor!
Meanwhile, in Emma’s room proper, behold if you will the holes in the window trim…. Ah ha! You can’t!! And this is because they’ve been All Filled In with wood-filler, and sanded down, and painted.
Painted, you say? Why yes, painted. Along with all the trim in Emma’s room: painted. Newly, freshly, in a white that goes oh-so-much-more-nicely than the previous white did with the blush pink of her bedroom walls.
I’m good, huh?
Also accomplished: innumerable spackle-issues that, over the years, have made themselves Evident in the living areas of our house. Spackled they are now, I say, and painted over, too. So that it all looks Ever So Much Better.
And this, I will not hesitate to remind you, O Reader, during a School Week.
The bragging can (and will) continue:
I also had the laundry done All The Time. Not a child asking for socks at negatitve-three-minutes-before-we-absolutely-have-to-leave-the house. Not a reckless and disheartened searching for clean underwear. Never a shirt yanked from the middle of the clean, folded clothes in the laundry basket. No. All the clothes. Clean. Folded. Sorted. Away.
And meals! Served on time, on a table beautifully set (with the new dishes I received for Christmas), and candles lit in the dining room. And this ready and (practically) waiting when we got home from school!
Yes, in all the above ways, last week was Truly Exemplary. And while I’d like to say that it is all the result of a new leaf that I have recently overturned, That Would Be A Lie.
No, such efficient productivity is over for now, because today my mother Went Home.
She arrived here just two days before Christmas and stayed for three weeks: weeks during which I never did laundry and I never washed dishes and I never (not really ever) made a meal. But thanks to her my pantry and kitchen cupboards are beautifully reorganized, my dining room is repainted, and some of my pretty things are rearranged. She’s done it again, what she always does: she’s made me love my home More.
She also made me cups of tea and encouraged me to rest; praised me, my husband, my children; redirected (and redirected and redirected) my gaze to my Father; and told me what is True: that I am (we are all) So Deeply Loved, So Very Safe.
The house felt a wee bit colder without her in it when we came home this afternoon, but signs of her visit are everywhere. She left a birthday card for Bill (his day is tomorrow) on the dining room table and a catalogue for me, dishes clean in the drainer and laundry (of course) underway.
When we sat down to dinner, Everett thought to call her to come to the table, and then he remembered.
Some women worry about turning into their mothers and, from their descriptions, I think this is a reasonable concern. But I will tell you, with the Most Sincere Gratitude, that this is one problem I Do Not Have.
I am not at all worried that I will “turn into my mother.” No. I am counting on it.