Picture This scene.
Five year old Anthony is leaping off the fourth stair wearing his black cape, a purple Batman sweatshirt and his ‘Mountie’ hat. Three year old Lucy carries a huge, old purse stuffed with cut pieces of paper and fake money and she is trailing behind seven year old Katie who is trying to make a scrapbook.
Rachel is in the same living room playing “Magic School Bus” on the computer and Emily is upstairs changing her clothes again. Dave and Matt are building a Lego plane across the hall in the family room but eighteen year old Matt is the brains behind the construction.
Michael is tending the animals outside at the barn.
Why I am putting in the fourth load of laundry that day and planning a folding marathon where I sort laundry and literally toss each kid their own clothes to fold
I learned to be happy in the chaos. I don’t have a living room , I have work and play areas. A1,000 piece puzzle is on a table in the dining room. Everybody works on it, sometimes for just a few minutes as they pass by.and a large rectangular coffee table in the living room is Katie’s craft station.
As for pets, there are goldfish on my too small counter in the kitchen, a huge dog trips anyone walking through the front door. The cat thinks she owns the most comfortable chair in the house an I warn you, do not try to move the queen! Sometimes a caged hamster or guinea pig squeaks for attention EVERY time the fridge door opens
All kinds of art and scribble art cover my kitchen walls, fridge and cupboards and I have too many indoor plants.
One day my father-in-law tripped over our dog (who did not move, by the way) and he gruffly asked me,
“What is that dog doing in the house? He should live outside.”
I laughed and said,
“Welcome to OUR home. We love kids, animals, plants and even you. Just come on in!”
Often my home was messy but always clean.I have never dreamed about living a show piece home. I would rather have happy, content children who live in a home designed with their needs in mind. A place where they are free to play, learn and feel comfortable, to feel AT HOME.