Thursday, December 19, 2013

{phfr:pushing back the panic edition}

Every year I resolve to do more ahead of time and not freak out in these Last Days before Christmas. It's like the sun coming up. I make the resolution with monotonous regularity and then every year chuck it out in a wail of hysterical panic involving tears and recriminations against God, myself, Matt and reality. And then the next day I discover it's not so bad, carry on in a more measured way and then commit the same freak out on Christmas Eve. It is, as everyone knows, The Reason For The Season.
Some day, when I'm old and lonely and have a clean house and too much time on my hands (does that ever happen?) I want to live in this house with this tree and this beautiful Christmas Star and the snow coming down, exactly the way they've done it here. It's felicitous, serendipitous, beautiful, lovely. It almost makes me want to take the dog outside for a walk sometimes so I can see it. But not enough to actually go into the cold. Fortunately I took this picture so I can just look at it and mourn the loss past when it used to be warm enough to walk the dog (last week) and anticipate a glorious future of being able to do it again (maybe the weekend because it's getting up to 50 and all the snow is going to melt.)
Because of the basement flooding the day before Thanksgiving, a moment Matt keeps describing as "a real blessing", his words, not mine, we had to throw tons and tons of stuff away and we managed to move all the toys up into the school room and the children's bedrooms, which started off a long domino effect of cleaning out the bedrooms and throwing almost everything away there also. And then, because it was so clean and uncluttered I turned my guilty gaze once more upon these hideous flowers I fitfully and distractedly painted on the girls wall last Good Friday after having a root canal.
As I painted I realized what a horrific thing I was doing but I couldn't stop and couldn't go back. Many of you who have visited me know that I don't normally do this. My living room is pretty well put together, I don't have perfectly foul taste, I'm not terrible at all I put my hands to. What Happened?
No one knows. Well, maybe God does. It's the result of sin in the world and in my life. But God is gracious and merciful and so last Satruday I tore apart a pile of old calendars and affixed them to the wall, covering the great offense.
And then I plunked some stuff on the boys wall so it looks less like a mental institution.
Someday this year we'll repaint the girls room totally. I hope. Maybe. May God give us a spare minute and a good color of paint.
All these bins used to be filled with toys. Can you imagine? Wet toys. And now they're empty everything is washed and either put away or given away. What else is there to do but climb up into the bin?
"Get out!" I shouted as I snapped pictures.
And then, "No No! Don't get in!" as I snapped some more.
"Agh!! That's so dangerous!" I cried, snapping away.
"Ok! Now don't stand up!"
I had Elphine haul them out. And then I told them to never do that again. Ever. Ever. Ever. 
Nonnie (my mom) is flying home to Kenya on Sunday. 
As I was writing in wonderment my long post about what a calm and reasonable advent we've been having and how orderly and clean everything is it dawned on me that I owe it all to my mother. Not least for deciding to have me in the first place, but also for coming back to America for baby after baby and then for having to have new teeth and then for working so hard even while she's been in pain and woe. I will say. I am a bad person and I've enjoyed very much how cute and funny she is without front teeth. But apart from all the hard work keeping this place going along smoothly, we've had a really good time. I'm going to miss her and so will all the kids for different reasons. May we all gather in a lot of money and go visit her and my dad in Kenya sometime soon.
Until, have a Happy Christmas if I don't get back here before then!


anne said...

I rather like the flower on the wall! :).

Anne Kennedy said...

That's very kind of you! I think, if I ever do it again I will try for some other kind of color. And maybe some planning ahead. Although that will probably not happen--the planning I mean.

Amy Caroline said...

Oh I have done things like the flower on the wall before. Why do we feel compelled to do things when we aren't feeling our best? I think it is either the drugs or the time just sitting there... on pain killers. :)

Maybe for Lent/ Spring cleaning you could paint? Make it your Lenten sacrifice!

Kenya! That is so far away! What a wonderful blessing though that your children get a real multicultural childhood. That would be amazing to get to take them. Although I would not envy you the trip with young ones!