Saturday, February 2, 2013

Happy Chaos and Old Dogs

It began around the time my oldest left for college.  A desire to bring some order to the happy chaos of the household.

I've always been quite comfortable with my easygoing outlook toward routines, schedules and lists.  In fact, I've probably been a little smugly happy over the fact that I wasn't an "uptight" mom.

And then Oldest Daughter left for college.  And Oldest Son leaves in 6 months.  And Middle Son is only a few short years behind.

And suddenly I find myself re-evaluating the way I want my household to run . . . and especially the home I want my kids to come home to.

It was one thing when it was the 7 of us living in a whirl of craziness.  I made sure every dish was done at least once a day.  But sometimes the time that happened was 7:00 a.m.  I could live with the kitchen in all its post-dinner upheaval waiting patiently through the night for me to attend to it.

But when Oldest Daughter arrives home at 1:00 a.m. after a 12-hour shift on her feet at Old Navy, cranky customers and the endless folding and refolding of stacks of sweaters and jeans, a kitchen of upheaval is not what I want to await her.

It was one thing when the 7 of us were basically within the same 4 walls, all making messes together, working to clean up together, and occasionally closing our eyes to it and sneaking off together for a bike ride around Furman Lake.

But more and more my older kids are not home.  They are out in a world that has a discord and tumult all its own . . . emotionally, physically, spiritually.  And if we aren't all together living our quirky chaos together, then I choose for home to be a contrast to the chaos outside the four walls of the house.

I now find myself wanting peace and order and simplicity and calm to be what my children come home to.  Because chaos away from home and chaos at home is just a little too much turmoil to deal with.

To that end, I find myself back reading Flylady's book, Sink Reflections, trying to be a little more open minded about routines, and cutting back on some volunteering.

Can I do it?  Wow . . . that remains to be seen.  There is, of course, the whole matter of old dogs and their tricks!!

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