This weekend, my husband was out of town and a dear friend stopped in. Four kids in tow, just like always.
You know, a dear friend. One of the real ones. The tried and true. The no holds bar, has seen me at my best and my worst but spurs me onto being better than my best.
She was here as my doula when I birthed Ewan at home. A calm, steady breath of fresh air.
We navigate the stormy seas and bright sunny days of homeschooling together. Raising kids at home where we know our children's heart the best, and train and teach them according to each personality and strength. I wish I could collect a dollar for everytime we text eachother, "In leu of eternity" as a reminder that its all worth it.
We encourage each other when our drumming husbands are out 'having fun' leaving us at home with the kids, no break in sight, again.
Learning together homeopathics, and oil and how to care for our crews as natural as we can
Shes one of the good ones. (Mal. Seriously, you are a gem.)
She was early, and I was late, and a text, "is it open?" popped up on my phone as I left to head home to meet her. I quickly responded yes, and then thought, oh man, I forget what state I left my home in.
*Dirty dishes piled on the counter and sink? -Yep. I hate doing dishes, and I normally wait and do only one heaping sink full a day. It gets bad.
*A slew of muddy boots and sneakers piled right inside the door, so exiting and entering is a game of 'who wants to twist your ankle'? -Of course, who wants to put them neatly lined up to the side, or better yet, in the assigned, 'kids shoe basket' 10 ft away?
*Dirty socks and underwear tangled inside of last nights jammies balled up on the sofa and floor? - How many times do I have to remind the two older kids to drop them in the laundry basket in the bathroom?
*A folded up poopy diaper on my coffee table that I neglectfully left behind as I rushed out the door? -Why do I always do that, they stink up the whole house. I gotta get better at that. Gosh. Ewww.
*A table full of half folded clean laundry needing to be put away amongst toys, cups with old milk and laptops sloppily covering our table. -A cleaned off table helps me feel focused and less stressed out, but it so quickly fills with the undesirables that we are all are to lazy to find their proper homes.
But she let herself in. Willingly let herself into our life.
When myself and my three kids arrived back home, I found Mal tucked up on my sofa, baby crawling at her feet and kids knee deep inside our toys box, carefully choosing their favorites. She looked at me and smiled, and I had to take a deep breath and decide weather to word vomit out all kinds of excuses as to why my house looked, smelled and felt for her. But something awesome happened.
I was up in my kitchen looking down on the beautiful chaos that was our seven kids playing wildly and kindly together in a whirlwind of sound and color.
"When I walked in, it felt like home!", she said with a smile. I laughed but it was true.
It reminded me that we as women and wives, friends and acquaintances, we feel copious amounts of pressure to present our lives tidy and neat. But lets face it, when daily lives with multiple kids and homeschooling and cooking, and living happen all day everyday, our lives are far from tidy and neat.
I only dust certain things, and organize certain things when I know certain people are coming over. Why?
Kids are going to tear those toys out of that toy box, one by one.
They are going to lick that coffee table, cause they are learning to stand, and its the perfect height to learn.
They are going to drink and spill that cup and refill then repeat.
They are going to step and crumble that teething biscuit into the carpet anyways.
But guess what, feeling vulnerable was great. Being real enough to acknowledge that if Mal wasn't here, with her kids, my house would look just the same. But there was such a sweetness knowing we could rest in that realness. A housewife's reality. Weather alone or in good company.
I loved our visit. Wonderfully long and much needed. And we sat. No stress. No worry. No regret that all that time spent tidying and dusty, mopping and sweeping was in vein. No ma'am. Just wonderful community. A tiny little village.
I dream of that village by the way. Its so my heart. Reading of this village makes me dream occasionally of it. It would be so sweet.
Especially with friends and family like Mal and her crew.
Lets be more relaxed. Lets not hide behind a neat and tidy facade. We all have those same dirty dishes piled high, those boots that are never tucked away, the piles of stinky laundry and putrid diapers hanging around and a table that would be nice to actually see cleared off.
The truth is there will be a time to keep a tidy house. When I won't be asked to read a book with Ruslana. Or look at Killian's newest airplane he's found in his Military aircraft book. Or quietly hold my growing baby Ewan as I nurse him off to sleep. I will look back on these memories im steadfastly quilting into our family's history. While I'm cleaning I'll look back on these fond memories and probably tear up.
But for now, I'll be here enjoying this well loved, lived in life. Stop by. You'll feel right at home! Promise.