We all have colds today. "The drippy nose sickness" as Girl Terror says. I hate being sick, I hate having sick kids, and I am a cold hearted bitch when it comes to Hubby being sick. Don't you just wish you were here?!
I don't remember my mother getting sick very often. I can recall one time, when my sister and I had the flu, and mom got it too. We all crashed in the living room, and she said "Everyone's on their own. I can't help you, so try to throw up in the toilet, not on the floor." Other than that, she seemed to be immune to the germs. Of course, I also don't remember her being tired, or dragging around at 9 am in her pj's, or letting the dust accumulate on the furniture for more than a day.
There were downsides to living with a Martha Stewart wannabe. We weren't allowed to sit in the living room. We were woken up weekend mornings at 8, by the crazy vacuuming lady. We had towels no one dried off with, dishes that never were used, and the gorgeous antique dining table was protected by a table pad, a linen cloth, and then a sheet of clear plastic. On top of that, we put placemats ("Not those ones, those are for good.") and then finally the dishes.
Our beds had bedspreads that were not for sleeping under. They were to be folded neatly at the foot of the bed each night. At Christmas, the crystal candy dishes held colorful, mouth watering candy....that only guests were permitted to eat. The fruit in the bowl on the table? Wax. The teddy bear collection on the stairs? Antiques, not huggable buddies.
When I look around my house, especially on days like today, I do not see a house my mother would be proud of. I see used tissues on the counter. Dust (as Girl Terror pointed out this morning) on the piano. Toys under the couch, in the cabinets, on the floor, everywhere. The towels in the bathroom do not match each other or the walls. My kids sleep under blankets that are chosen based on how well the vomit washes off them. My daughter loves to talk about how we all sat around in our pj's watching videos when we were sick. Our dining room is decorated in Early Preschool art. My "antique" bear (how can something I had as a child be antique?!) sleeps with my daughter. Boy Terror believes that the furniture is really truly just a well padded jungle gym.
I'm not saying my way is better than my mother's, or that I wish I too could have clean floors. It's just that sometimes, it's good to take a big step back, stop looking at the little details that aren't how you thought they would be, and see the whole picture. I bet even Martha wishes she had spent less time cleaning and decorating, and more time laughing and hugging.