Yesterday I spent about three hours cleaning house, but by the time my husband got home at six, you couldn’t tell. Dinner preparations were strewn across the kitchen, school books and assignments in the sitting area. Mail both my husband and our daughter had sifted through was scattered across the kitchen island, coats and gloves were draped over chairs, and shoes piled in numerous locations. After school snack crumbs covered multiple surface areas–not just in the kitchen. Markers, scissors and yarn were left in numerous places like bread crumbs documenting the movements of our creative daughter as she fluttered through the house.
Sitting down to dinner in our once clean-now-cluttered home, I had to laugh. My tidy house had been family-ized!
As a mom, today’s post was a breath of fresh air. My house is normally sanitary, yet it is rarely clean. But you know, that isn’t such a bad thing. I’d trade my daughter’s giggles and my husband’s hugs for an immaculate kitchen any day!
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I jumped out of bed early every morning with the spirit, energy, and vitality of youth, cleaned house, and took care of the family duties. Far too busy to treasure the day with a son in the first grade, I took pride in the fact that I kept a spotless home and had dinner on the table when my husband returned from work.
I hung Scotty’s small jeans outside in the sunshine and fresh air. I can still see them blowing in the wind, hung neatly, all in a row, jeans of every color: brown, black, green, navy, maroon, and blue. I took pride in the fact that he had a pair of jeans in each color for school.
Before I knew it, my son grew, left home, married, had children of his own, and made me a grandmother multiple times. Those precious family days were a treasure that didn’t last. All too soon, spring turned to summer, summer to fall, and fall to winter. What I wouldn’t give to hang those precious little jeans on the line and watch them blow.
I no longer clean house like it’s the most important thing in my life. What I once took pride in is dull, boring, and humdrum–just another ordinary, routine day. Now, there are no small jeans blowing in the wind. No first grader rushes home to excitedly tell me about his school day. Those are all things of the past, things that didn’t last.
Now, my little grandson’s mother throws his jeans in the dryer as she rushes to get ready for work. The hands of time slip by like a silent thief in the night, as precious days fly with the speed of lightning. Off to work. Off to school. Years fly. Days of the past, treasured days, just don’t last, but precious memories do.
First printed in USADeepSouth.com as Colored Jeans on the Clothesline: Such Precious Days Don’t Last. Permission given to reprint revised edition.
B. J. Robinson lives in Florida with her husband, Cocker Spaniel, Sunflower, and an adopted shelter cat named Frankie. She’s a graduate of the Christian Writers Guild (CWG), Longridge Writers Institute, and a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and CWG. Visit her at http://barbarajrobinson.blogspot.com.
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For all my overtired parents out there, watching your teen come into the house like a cyclone can be a bit frustrating, but sending them off to college with suitcase in hand is even harder. Teach them to be tidy and respectful of your time, yes, but do it with a hug and a smile, because it won’t be long before those hugs are few and far between.
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