Home is together
Home is C- making a racket
Home is a castle wall to any danger
Home is peaceful
Home is a remedy to sadness
Home is a big room full of love
Home is where fun begins
Home is G saying, “Do I have to?”
Home is sometimes like a movie theater
Home is a place where treasures are kept
My big boy half heartedly belabors the writing homework he gets but I love the end products. He is a lovely poet and this one made my heart sing. The luxury of motherhood right now is that my children are young. They still go to bed when I tell them to and sleep through the night without a thought to sneaking out or taking their “toys” to bed with them to play all night long. They still opt to host sleepovers and they have yet to drag out the goodbye from a playdate, happy to be going home.
As in everything, developing as a human cycles round and round – come close to me, keep away from me…again and again. We feel so needed when our babies are born, they seem so small and helpless. We are the beginning and end of every day. Even at their first launch, they are still wanting home….and then they hit middle school, ugh. It’s not my turn yet, but P’s eyes are lifting and the thoughts are deeper and the comparing and measuring up is getting more deliberate. “Couldn’t we just get a smallish house?”; ” His brother is a bit annoying”; “Why does it matter if the logo is on the outside of the car, we can see it on the inside?” ; “She used to be her friend, but now she isn’t, I don’t get it.” The thoughts of how others run their home are coming up; questions about nannies, housekeepers, cleaning ladies, working moms, working dads, who coaches, who doesn’t. The response, “that’s how we do it in our home” is becoming less sufficient.
Consistently a late bloomer, it wasn’t until my 20s when it hit me that all families run differently, really really differently. Rules were nebulous as every home had different ones. I feel like I have been a watcher of families, mothers especially. Watching and taking note like facing a huge buffet. Other homes had a little bit of sarcasm, heavy serving of touch, peppering of questions, smattering of pet names, tons of eye contact, presentation of choices and compromise. I wasn’t comparing, just taking inventory of the rules that I abided by and realized that as an adult, I can now choose the rules I want to follow and create. Now a mother, I am the giver and keeper of rules. My home is run by countless rules and I wonder at what point will my children realize that they can defy, bend, denounce, trounce and experiment with them. I fancied myself a control freak of only my own life. After all, I don’t ask them to comply with my sense of cleanliness, order or what constitutes as a toy worth saving. My gestures of cleaning, organizing and general swirls of constant motion are for the most part ignored by all the other residents of the home. My rules make sense to me but in fairness, it helps that I am a bit more compulsive around here as it keeps the home humming smoothly and makes for a less crabby mommy. However, it seems my control issues are creeping up as pink flags in ways I have not suspected. My sense of order and orderliness keeps me busy so I don’t have to sit. Did I grow up with this? Perhaps. I am being reminded these days to have more fun. To my children and husband, they could not care less whether the dishes are put away before bed, the closet doors are closed, that the floor is vacuumed or scrubbed on my hands and knees, or whether the shower curtain is pulled back with a ribbon not an elastic. My doing is in turn the “not doing” of others and thus my very controlled world. My doing is my way of contributing to the passing of time in a productive manner not lazily. It is how I show my worth in my home. Again, my rules, no one else’s.
I think about how ‘worth’ is brought up a lot in the adoptee world. Am I worth all that I have? If I don’t keep moving, will my worth cease to exist? Is my worth wrapped around what I cram in one 24 hour period? The idea of existence and worth, deserving to be here when the alternative throughout life was that I could have fared much worse. Ugh, here comes the gratitude thing again. Does it matter a whole hell of a lot? Yes, this is the essence of it all! And no it shouldn’t.
We hide our worst selves in the privacy of our homes. If being this “organized” allows me to be calm outside, so what? In writing this, I am reminding myself that it is what is going on with the humans in my home that matters and gives me the strength to live outside serenely. My boy’s poem was a wonderful reminder that despite all my rummaging around to keep order, he sees home in the most comforting way.
So, I am cutting myself some slack here. The floors will only get cleaned once a week!