My house is a mess. A serious mess. Usually, I try to keep up on those things, but lately. . . I’ve been behind. We returned home from Florida and I’ve been running on a treadmill ever since. Running and not getting anywhere, that is. Laundry is piled outside the washer, sitting still inside the dryer, stacked in piles outside one room or another. I haven’t stepped foot into the kids bedrooms to clean the chaotic mess of packing I made before our vacation. My dresser is piled with my clothes, there is a rather large pile of clothing and miscellaneous items that have yet to be delivered to good will. The pile is starting to get so large it’s going to outgrow the bedroom and is near taking over our sleep space. Vacuum? When was the last time I did that? Oh and bathrooms. . . if you visited I might have to lie and tell you that ours is out of order and send you to a gas station.
Wow. . . it felt good to get that off my chest. I’ll spare you pics, but take my word for it. . . my house is not a pretty sight.
This really doesn’t happen very often. Sometimes, though, life just takes over, plans are made, sickness happens, pretty days erupt. . . and cleaning is that last thing you want to do. This week, before we had even completed our unpacking from vacation we were packing our bags back up for another road trip.
We went to my Dad’s, or as I like to call it. . . home. I’ve said it before, but I still call his house “home”. I don’t know why or if I will ever stop doing it, but I still claim it, in part, as my own.
Our home and his home are two of the very few places in the world where I feel completely “safe”. I don’t mean physically safe. . . but that safe kind of feeling you get when you know you are accepted just for being you. The safe kind of feeling you get when you can say and think as you want and you will be heard and not judged. The safe kind of place where you can fall asleep in the living room and not feel bad about it. The safe kind of place were you are really, really known. That’s why I love “home”.
We went home to celebrate Easter with my family a week early. Going to my Dad’s house is like going on vacation. . . it’s just so easy.
My kids adore my Dad and are thrilled when we get to spend a few nights at Poppy’s house. It’s such a cool thing to watch them all interact. It makes me wonder if that’s how he was with me when I was three or five. I love to hear their little voices say, “Poppy will you play with me?” or his big voice say “Come here, let me show you this. . . ”
I take in these little moments like they are drops of water on a blazing hot day. I take them in because each one of them are not just memories for them. . . but for me, too. My heart swells as their tiny footsteps follow his out the door as they go on a “date” to the movies. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that my kids are growing more secure because they are understanding that another big heart is intertwined with theirs.
I have come to understand that it is a very blessed person who has a safe place to fall in the arms of their family. I wish it for everyone. . . No family comes without their “stuff” but if it’s safe. . . you’ve got something special.
When we all gather, I see it even more. My siblings, nephews. . . all of us together doing what we do. Catching up, laughing, making fun of each other. . . this is what I love and what I grieve every time I leave.
But good-bye always comes as we simultaneously plan next time. . .
And that is really what life is isn’t it? A series of hellos and good-byes. A continuous cycle of beginnings and ends. Maybe that’s what makes it so good. Maybe that is what makes my heart swell with the bitter-sweet mix of emotions that include happiness and sadness.
I come away from this weekend with a heart full of thankfulness and a house that remains in need of my attention. The neglect of my house, though, was so worth it.
Here’s to a new week. . . we shall see what will happen.