It's a sad comment on the state of our house lately ... well, ok, maybe not just lately. Alright, since I was old enough to fold laundry and shut a drawer ... Except for a brief period in University, when, my room was not only clean, but sported different phases, including pink (I mean entirely pink), blue and white and the infamous twinkie light from the ceiling phase. It was relatively clean, and relatively tidy, but then, I only had one room.
Anyway, as I was saying, sad comment. Thursday was the last day of school for my oldest and so Friday I celebrated by cleaning the counters of any and all paper. I don't know about you but it feels like the school sends home half a boreal forest full of paper every year, each one inscribed with a little love note, precious drawing, or ominous "important message" so that I am either too cutified or terrified to throw most of it out. It would be fine if I had a whole other house to load the paper into or even some sort of paper station that would sort, toss and properly archive each treeling as it arrived, but the international brain bank has yet to come up with a solution for me. As it is, my counter space has been rapidly eaten up by paper. Report card replies and mortgage forms conveniently lay by the coffee maker, stacks of magazines in the bread box, lovely and generous offers to "cruise the Bahamas" and "win one of five $1,000,000,000 homes" as well as a few dozen bills that I need to pay sit stacked in the middle of the table with the centerpiece, candle and all, perched on top so they won't run away, and five or six books are strewn around just for good measure. I knew it was getting bad when I couldn't find a spot to put my spoon down and had to balance it in my teeth!
So, getting back to the story at hand, Friday I cleaned. Wow, it looked good. I felt like a pioneer, clearing the brush off the last twenty acres. The counter top was mine, all mine. I could lay out a recipe book, take out a bowl, or make a five course meal! Well ... at least, I could open a can of fruit without sticking a "return to the principle" form permanently to the counter. In my frenzy I even cleaned the kitchen floor. After supper we all went out for a drive. When we arrived home my son looked into the kitchen with big round eyes. Ah, I thought, he must be admiring mama's work.
There was a curious glint in his eyes. "Wow," he said, "did someone break into our house?"
"What?" I said, quickly scanning the room behind him to see if there was anything missing. There wasn't. "No."
He looked amazed,"Well, someone must have come in and cleaned it." his eyes locked mine seriously.
Now, this would have been a good moment to teach my son about the fine art of domestic engineering, and a prime time to lecture him on the principles of appreciation and observance. Instead, I just sent him into the kitchen.
"Take a look," I said, "if you find them, give me their number."