I was proud of it.
Before people came over, I would fret and frazzle as I got everything in tip-top shape for guests.
JB didn't get it. He agreed that a clean house was a nice thing. But for him, he was more interested in his time.
Early in our marriage, my husband informed me that he would never make our bed. "I have counted how many minutes it would take me," he began. "I multiplied that by the days in a week and the weeks in a year and the years in my lifetime, and I don't want to give up days in my life to make a bed."
After fifteen years together, we have both met in the middle. JB will now be the one who goes into our room to do a clean-up and, (gasp!), actually make the bed. I feel like I am too busy trying to make sure we keep our heads above water. Making a bed is a luxury. I don't have time for luxuries.
We live in a real house.
JB had said that to me once. He had told me, "I will not live in a fake house."
In other words, I will not pretend things for the sake of what people think. I will present to people the real people that we are.
So, if you came to visit my house today, you'd find ...
- ... pee on the back of the toilet seats.
- ... coloring books and crayons scattered on the dining room table.
- ... dishes in the sink.
- ... water bottles everywhere (I refill these to have cold water at my command)
- ... clean laundry piled on the counter in the laundry room.
- ... at least one of our three play areas currently covered with toys.
- ... all beds unmade.
- ... our office desks with scattered papers and notes and receipts.
- ... burp cloths and baby bibs every few steps.
- ... dirty clothes in various piles.
But that isn't real. Real is living. If you live in a house and laugh in a house and love in a house, that is truly what is most important. (It really is!)
Our last four homes: Rochester, Eglin, Turkey, and even here in the Azores, our door seemed like it was on a rotating hinge. People are constantly flying in and out. And most of my friends say to me, "How do you do that? How do you let people just drop in unannounced?"
And the truth of it is that I do this by not caring.
If you are coming to my house than remember that it is my house. If you don't like how clean it is or how many toys are around, then you can leave my house. I will not present to you someone that I am not. I don't have time for that, and it is not fair to you. You should not think I have it all together if I don't. You should think I have it exactly like I have it at the moment that you knock on my door.
You should think I am real ...
and my house is real ...
and my life is real.