Tuesday, February 24, 2009

When Did We Become *THAT* Family???

I came downstairs today to find a shedding dog on my aging couch, a ten gallon aquarium teeming (okay, not teeming but certainly active) with ten legged scavengers on my nice oak buffet, a bowl of jiggly jewels on the counter next to a vat of home made slime... need I say more?

To add to the mix I have three tall, not-that-adorable-anymore grinning, shoving, running, pushing, smelly boys at various stages of puberty. We've become those homeschoolers you hear about.

Even worse, we're vegan, alternative, non-competitive, natural-consequences oriented, with a respect-the-children approach to parenting. My friend J to say he's surprised I'm not wearing a hemp headband with my Doc Martens. So yeah... we've gotten weirder as we've gotten older.

When the boys were small our house was fairly spotless and we revelled in our minimalist Scandinavian decor (Ikea) and our nicely framed art on the walls. The slip was incremental. We removed the pillar candles in a vase of smooth river rocks and made room for the plants we were growing for science. We took down some of the prints to hang paintings done by our little artist and the spare room, once a glorious teal sanctuary, has converted into his art studio - paint splashes on the sheer ribbin edged curtains and all. My kitchen, once so barren and spacious inevitably houses a science project or some art work - mine or the boys.

It's not all bad. The windowsill that was pristine years ago now houses my turkey bouquet (sage, thyme and rosemary) and our meals are graced with fresh spices thanks to that concession. While our hardwood floor is never clean, our sweet Bubby warming up my feet while I read is a very worthy trade. I look around and I see a house that's alive; overflowing with interesting thoughts, interesting people and wonderful learning opportunities. It's a house full of love.

I used to take it as a huge compliment that people often said our homes reminded them of a show home. No one would say that now but this is so much better.

P.S. The picture above features Brayden and Gross - one of the three hermit crabs who have recently come into our life.


chksngr said...

Indeed you ARE that family! I simply adore this post for two reasons...I can fully imagine it in all the glory it must be and your description is so amazingly wonderfully fantastically transparent. I LOVE IT!!! My home will never be a show home either...much as I try to stay ahead of the two year old and the 39 year old who are thoroughly boyish in their extravagant make-believe play. There is ever a fort, a castle, a tower, some art, some lunch, juice and water cups, a furry blind deaf little dog with all her shedding, and the dusty corners to prove that I'm a busy woman with other things than housecleaning on my mind. But its so marvelous. I hope my son remembers how much fun we had and not how mommy's corners were never as clean as they could be!

Barbara said...

Welcome to the REAL world!! My house has never been a show room, but has that great lived in look that conveys tons of fun at all times!! I have seeds started on my countertops, dust bunnies thriving under my furniture, and we use paper plates cause I just don't want to waste my time washing dishes!

MaryC said...

Have I ever told you the story of how I was visiting my cousin, Mary and her husband and their Boa Constrictor dropped from the light fixture directly into my unsuspecting lap?
THEY were THAT family...you get second place.

Jenna Bayley-Burke said...

so honestly...hermit crabs? yes? no? fine as long as you don't buy the painted shells? Are they loud at night? How does the dog do with them?

Can you tell I'm under pressure?

Comptons said...

I would SO much rather be in a lived-in house than a show house! I always worry when I visit a house with kids and it's pristine...I hope the hostess didn't clean up just for me, and then I wonder if the kids are allowed to be kids or if maybe the dad is a bit of a dictator. LOL!

A house of love is the best kind of house.