This is the week that school started.
Can we still be friends…..
……if I tell you I’ve been waiting for this week all summer?
Every time I picked up a pair of flip-flops off the floor or washed stacks of bowls etched with dried-on fruit loops or sorted through wet beach towels left in the back hall or swept up tiny pieces of paper scattered all over the floor or gathered up the stinky tennis shoes from every corner of the house…..
And waited patiently for the days of sparkling clean floors and quiet.
The whirlwind of summer blew by. It was full of trips to the beach and afternoons at the pool and ice cream as the sun set and long walks down by the lake and nights at the movies and basketball and baseball and trips to the water park.
And every day would start the same.
“Mom…..what are we going to do today?”
And off we would go. Again. And again.
And as summer rolled by….the dishes sat in the sink.
The dust piled up on the baseboards.
The kitchen floor was sticky.
The rug in the butler’s pantry still had the dried on mud that had been there since June.
And the pillows and shoes and papers and books covered every square inch of the living room.
And I surveyed the mess…..
And longed for the days when order would be restored.
And then it arrived.
The first day of school was here before we blinked. And I packed everyone off with new backpacks and notebooks and sharpened pencils and wide-ruled paper and shiny new shoes.
They left in a whirlwind with hugs and smiles and laughter…..
…..and waved good-bye as the car pulled out of the driveway.
And I slowly turned and walked up the sidewalk and into the house and closed the front door.
And walked from room to room and told the house good morning. I fluffed the pillows and straightened the chairs and opened the curtains and lit the candles.
And the floors were sparkling and the dishes were put away and there wasn’t a pair of stinky shoes in sight.
And then I sat. I sat on the couch in the middle of that clean house with the sunlight sparkling through the windows surrounded by the smell of red currant.
And there in the silence…..
….tears filled my eyes.
Wasn’t this what I wanted?
Wasn’t this what I sighed for?
Wasn’t this what I longed for during the hectic, messy, busy, overwhelming days of summer?
And right then and there I realized something that seemed almost incomprehensible a few weeks ago.
I missed the messy.
And the life and the laughter and the joy of a sticky kitchen floor.
I got up and I walked into the laundry room…..
….and almost tripped over a pair of stinky tennis shoes with even stinkier socks stuffed inside.
I reached down to pick them up and put them away.
Except this time I didn’t.
I left them right where I found them.
A little messiness to hold me over until the house filled up again. 🙂
PS And don’t worry about the stinky tennis shoes.
A few more pairs showed up later that afternoon. 🙂