January 19, 2013

Where the women are neat, the men are organized, and all the children put away their Legos

This may be the last blog post for a bit. I’m not taking up knitting or going to Ghana for a month. I’d say I’m spending time cleaning up and organizing my house, but anyone who has set foot in my house in the last few years would know I was lying. Sometimes, I go to other people’s houses and think, “It must be lovely to live like this.” There aren’t Legos on the floors in every single room, there aren’t piles of hand-me-downs that the kids outgrew months ago, and there aren’t giant structures built out of rotting recycling and Gorilla tape. I feel on top of it when we return our library books on time and unload the dishwasher on a timely basis. There are days just the thought of the drainboard fills me with despair. I walk right by empty shampoo bottles for months without putting them in the recycling. I’ve made my peace with this chaos because I have no other choice, and I’ve done so by no longer hanging around with neat people.

If I’m not cleaning, where have I gone? Well, it’s DI crunch time, which would be time-consuming enough. Our town is also going for an override of Prop 2 ½, which I’d explain to you except I’m now explaining it about 15 times a day because I’m our school liaison, which is where the rest of my time is going. It’ll be all I can do to keep up with my writing projects.

Be well, do good work, and be in touch. I’ll be back soon.

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  • Reply Karen January 19, 2013 at 1:22 am

    We will all miss you.

    My mother has just done to my house what would have taken me more than a month’s worth of Sundays. Only, I never would have because I like the result but am not quite motivated enough by it.

    Should you ever visit, I promise recycling piled up here and there, papers strewn about and legos everywhere. Everywhere!

    • Reply emily January 19, 2013 at 1:54 am

      So is my problem a lack of a mother or a lack of free Sundays?

  • Reply Lauren January 19, 2013 at 1:53 am

    I recently visited the home of a new friend, which was certainly in the state of childhood disarray. I said “I hope you take this in the spirit in which it was intended, but it feels so nice to be in someone else’s home that looks like my house looks kids live here and is close, although not as bad, as my house looks on regular basis.

    • Reply emily January 19, 2013 at 1:54 am

      That makes me feel so much better.

  • Reply Melanie January 19, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I need Karen’s mom to come over and take care of my house, I am starting to think I need to be forced to move every 5 years because I am so FLIPPING overwhelmed with how I’ve let this house get in 9 years and if I dont find a way to take care of the kids school projects and special “pretties” I may lose it all together. You can only keep SO MUCH right?

  • Reply Heather January 19, 2013 at 11:40 pm


    Maybe just write about other things. The new core curriculum with so much non-fiction. The decreasing role college will play in the coming years. Local vs organic vs fair-trade. I would even be willing to give you all the questions I have about life. That would keep anyone busy for years.

    Sigh. Your voice will be missed.

  • Reply Lilian Nattel January 20, 2013 at 5:55 pm

    I hope it all goes in the best way possible.

  • Reply Brigid January 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    You just perfectly described my home. A shirt I fight with every time I wear it because it creeps up and down at the same time, so I wear it only every few months has finally been relegated to the donation pile, which at this moment consists of a pair of outgrown boy pants, and an old George Forman grill, which have now all been sitting on top of my refrigerator for 2 weeks. (In the time it will take me to post this, I could have loaded the car–with three other half-packed donation bags, and been at the donation center, but that’s not the point.) I am not motivated in the way my husband is to be surrounded by neatness. He cleans before our DI meetings, for pete’s sake. I’m just happy to have the next session reasonably planned before the kids get off the bus.

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