Tuesday, May 14, 2013

planting flowers and a change of mind

This morning I went out to plant flowers.  
A few days ago we went to the nursery and bought flowers.  Two flats of snapdragons, two of moss roses, a poppy plant and two dahlias.  They'd been sitting on the porch for a few days, and I knew that if I didn't get them into the ground soon they wouldn't make it.

So we went out to plant.
Clothes on, shoes found, socks on, shoes on, diaper changed, gardening gloves located, little boy's sunglasses found (they were in the playroom, of course!), drinks and little cups of chocolate chips to take outside with us.

Chalk, shovels, bike, buckets, hose, pinecone (pinecone??), apples, smarties, sticks, rocks.

Rocks moved, holes dug, children retrieved (again and again---oh how I wish we could afford a fence!), rocks thrown, boo boo's kissed, apples dropped and washed, sunscreen spills wiped up, dirt-covered smarties eaten, bugs smashed, flowers placed in holes, hose turned on, sister wet and crying, clothes changed, shoes changed, apples dropped again.

Shoes off, dirty fingers washed, faces washed, lunch made, lunch half-eaten, water dumped into bowl of pretzels, diaper changed, bottom wiped, hands washed again. 
Naptime for little one.
Bigger one wants to play trains.  Playing trains makes me feel like my brains are melting.  
We play.  

Back outside to plant. 

Five and a half hours after I started, and the snapdragons are planted.  
The rest will wait until tomorrow.

I am a woman who wants to get things done.  
My very favorite household chore?  Washing walls and windows.  I love the instant result.  I scrub and rinse and I can see the difference right away.

I want to see a newly organized pantry and think "I did that and it looks beautiful."
I want to see a party hosted and think "I did that and it was fun."
I want to see a room rearranged and decorated and think "I did that and it is creative and cozy."
And honestly, I just want to see a sink empty and sparkling and think "I did those dishes and I am a good housekeeper."  

These things give me satisfaction.  I work hard and I see the results. 
And I feel good and capable and successful.

Right now, in this life I have, I work and I work and I work and at the end of the day, 
it usually looks like I haven't done anything.  
House a mess-despite the endless picking-up I do, dinner late, kids crying (usually with nothing but a diaper/underwear on),
and only a fourth of my flowers planted.

Today I realized something I hadn't before.
Something that is going to be very hard for me to adapt to.

My children are my "to-do list."  My family will be what I have done with my life. I am working. Day by day by day.  This is what I am here for.
Someday, maybe not for a very very long time, 
I will be able to step back and say, 
"I did that, and it is beautiful."

The trick will be accepting that this work is my real work, and the pantry and the parties and the decorating are the things getting in the way of my work
not the other way around. 

And learning to be all right with having to wait until that "someday" comes. 


Shannon b said...

I typed a long comment and it disappeared - grrr . . . Basically I wanted to say that I loved this! So true.

Libby said...

Very true. But I also think that if we teach our children to do some of the work too, it makes life easier for everyone in the family. I started with our girls when they were young. Teaching them to clean up their toys. Clean up one thing before getting something else out, etc. Today, they have cleaner rooms and work more than most, if not all of their peers.

Savanah said...

Love it. Absolute truth!