Thursday, August 04, 2005

One Less Sunset

I went to pick up my 7-year-old son this evening, on the way to the pool. He'd spent the afternoon at his friend's house, so while he was busy gathering his stuff, Friend's Dad and I chatted in the driveway.

His yard is impeccable. He just built a deck in his backyard. I've seen inside their home and it's lovely and meticulous, despite their two children. Everytime I stop by, he's power-washing or mowing or trimming or building or painting. He began to lament the end of summer. "We haven't even been anywhere," he said. "We have a place up at Hood *Canal and we haven't even spent a night."

It seems like you have a choice. Would you like what's behind Door Number One (House Beautiful, regularly dusted and maintained) or Door Number Two (Free Time, including sand between your toes and a sunburn on your nose). (Or, if you can find a paperclip in your purse, you can have what's behind Door Number Three: Mystery prize!) Let's Make a Deal!

I leave my house almost every day in some degree of disarray so my kids can cavort at the pool. Food drying on dishes or laundry waiting to be folded, dust on the coffee tables and a few toys scattered around for good measure . . . I can't be bothered, really, for summer is fleeting. I want to live in a perfectly tidy house, I really do, but I just don't want to be the one doing all the tidying. Especially with four kids wreaking havoc wherever they go.

My daughter spun around and around at the pool tonight, falling down in a dramatic heap. "I'm so busy!" she said, confusing "dizzy" with "busy," but then again, maybe there's not such a big difference.

Time's flying! Get on board, quick! There is one less sunset at the beach as of tonight. Catch one while you can.


Blogger Cuppa said...

Dizzy/busy! You are soooo right, not much difference at all. I am both these days, so thanks for the reminder that I need to stop and catch a sunset or two before they are all gone.

4:08 AM  
Blogger Kendra said...

Good idea, Mel! But, being on the East Coast, our sunsets aren't that amazing. I'll check out a sunrise, though, and ask the sun to say "Hi" to you as it sets over your way.

6:11 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I'm with you. I don't want to waste my kids' life (or my life, for that matter) CLEANING. They may trip on the mess occasionally, but they'll get over it.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

I'm with you. I don't want to waste my kids' life (or my life, for that matter) CLEANING. They may trip on the mess occasionally, but they'll get over it.

7:07 AM  
Blogger WordsRock said...

Carpe diem indeed.
The dishes will always be waiting.


7:24 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

I'm with you there, Mel, my house is a mess, now I just gotta get outside and enjoy the summer!! but it's so hot here, man, I wish I lived in the Pacific Northwest!!

8:28 AM  
Blogger Julana said...

My house is messy, but I haven't had sand between my toes since Nov. '03. Something's wrong with this picture.
I'm on my way over to

9:12 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

I think if you were to see my house, you would know exactly which door we have picked.

I made a decision a long time ago that I wasn't going to be obsessive about cleaning if it meant that I wasn't getting to spend time going out and taking Mr. Personality places. I don't regret it for a second.

9:18 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

This could apply to just about anything, though. You watch too much tv and you don't get to see the sunset, you spend too much time on the computer and you don't get to see the sunset. The problem isn't cleaning.

We do have a choice but it takes distancing yourself from social conformity to realize this. There are people who have been molded to such a degree that they simply can't open that "door" because "making a deal" means having to choose and many people don't want to choose because choosing always means giving something up. The catch is, you choose whether you like it or not.

If Mr. Clean doesn?t realize he actually is making a choice, he?s stupid. If he does, he?s a whiner. Either way?not attractive. Of course he could take the hat trick with 'stupid whiner.' In that case he's never going to get "it."

12:19 PM  
Blogger crisper said...

Thanks for this post -- such a good one to read as school is back in session in just a couple of weeks!

2:18 PM  
Blogger KGrams said...

No paperclip in my purse, so I'm going with door #2.

Great Post!!! I decided that life was just to short not to enjoy and gave up on the perfect house and yard quite some time ago.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Christi said...

This is one of the reasons we decided to suffer and lose my income so I could stay home with our kids. They grow up so fast, and we had to send our son to his grandparents' house three days (and nights) a week while I was working. Now we get to be with them, and be the ones to raise them. I just wish my hubby didn't have to work so much!

10:48 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

It has probably been a year since my house was actually clean. It's been kind of a crazy year for me, and certain things just slide. In the big picture, it doesn't matter at all.

10:01 AM  

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