“Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,
For babies grow up, I’ve learned, to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby, and babies don’t keep.”
(Ruth Hulburt Hamilton)
When she’s at home, my mother-in-law is a consummate housekeepr. Her trash cans are emptied daily (at least), her dishes are washed, dried and put away after each meal, and each night she straightens whatever mess her kids, grandkids, husband and in-laws have left.
My cousin Becky managed to design and build a house and parent two elementary age boys while living in a two-car garage for a year. She’s organized, calm, and her boys are well-behaved, all-around good kids.
My friend Tricia designs a summer-long program of chores, activities and recreation, down to daily menus for a balanced diet.
And then there’s me.
My laundry grinds to a halt mid-cycle and lays in piles of madness that grow every time I throw a dirty bib up the stairs.
I stick up my nose every Thursday, thinking, Aw man, it’s been a week already since I cleaned the house?
The dishes get washed at least every third day. But not necessarily put away.
And last week I took the kids up to the farm for a daylong outing, and I left the diaper bag at home.
My friend Jim chuckled when I related that. Then he quickly curbed it. “Well,” he said graciously, “you’re one of those creative right-brained people.”
Scatterbrained is more like it. And the more I think about it, the more I think he’s right—only there’s more to it than that. I’m scatterbrained because my attention is split in too many directions. School liturgies. Weekend liturgies. Music projects for publishers. New music projects. Novels. Short stories. Articles. Reading about writing. Reading in general. The kids. NFP recertification.
Oh yeah, don’t forget the housework.
Last weekend the readings at church said, “From those given much, much will be expected.” I guess that’s me. I just wish part of the bequest had been a brain capable of keeping it all straight.