getting my house in order

getting my house in order
it's a jungle out there

Sunday, June 22, 2014

be careful what you wish for


I always said I wanted to have the house where all the kids could hang out.

I wanted to be The Cool Mom

When the kids and I moved into this house I thought this is awesome its just a few blocks from the middle and high schools, it has big rooms with high ceilings and a pool! everyone can hang out here. its gonna be gwate. everyone will be so happy

I even knocked out a wall to make it easier for lots of kids to hang out and be sociable.

What the hell was I thinking???

Being The Cool Mom comes with a price. 

367$ at BJs for economy sized cases of DIY frozen foods. 
Lots of peanut butter and many more loaves of bread. 
Stepping  over 19 backpacks and 127 pairs of shoes and moving the 16 hoodies that are perpetually draped over the dining room chairs. 
Hearing basketballs pound pound pound in the big open room downstairs.

It means ALWAYS coming home to way more than 3 kids. And once or twice a week waking up to at least 9 and most mornings more than my 3.

And school's not yet out...

The first 2 summers there was an eternal trail of wet towels from the pool to the sunroom, through the kitchen and into the dining room. The trail turned into a heap in the computer room. The chairseats around the computer were perpetually damp.

And because it was so important for me The Cool Mom, I didn't nag. I didn't yell. I spent those summers shaking out wet towels and hanging them in the sun to dry. I wiped gallons of water up off the hardwood floors. I sniffed the damp upholstery to check for mildew.

Besides, I've seen moms who nag and yell. It doesn't really help. 
And I don't have the energy anyway.

Last summer I couldn't get the pool clear. At best it was a lovely cloudy shade of aqua but most of the time it was a green ranging from sparkling emerald to swampthang.

But... there were no towels on the floor no wet footprints through my house and no mildewy chairs cushions.

Which is why the pool is now a koi pond. Last fall I threw 10 baby koi that were half price at petco into the perpetual green muckiness. I figured if they're alive in the spring I'll take it as a sign. And yes they did survive our polar arctic winter and are growing like gangbusters. I think they must thrive on algae. A few weeks ago I threw in some water hyacinth and water lilies and I'm hoping the neighbors don't complain that I might cause a chikunguya outbreak here in the Hudson Valley. 

Honestly I'm relieved all these kids that didn't come out of my body, and those that did, can find another place to swim this summer.

But...if I ignore the crap left all over the house, the open peanut bottle jars, the din of adolescent boys watching basketball at midnight and the fact that in this big house the ONLY place I find a little solitude is in my bed, I can appreciate what I have.

I have WAY more than the 3 kids who actually came out of my body calling me Mom. 
It's very sweet. 

My therapist said "do you know WHY there are always kids there?'
I said "because I'm not a bitch like the other moms?"

She said "because you have a happy house"

I have a happy house. I wished for that too.

9 comments:

  1. I love it--I remember Those Houses when I was that age, and it meant the world to me to have a sanctuary. You are providing many, many memories and a safe haven for stories you may never even hear.

    I'm so glad you are back! You're inspiring me to write more again too.

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  2. You know, as we grow older (and wiser?) our goals may change as well. Yes you may have a happy home but no, it doesn't mean that every dang stray cat and puppy in the surrounding area has to find its way to your door.
    I speak from experience wherein I had to pay hundreds of dollars of phone bills for long-distance to some island where a girl who was living with us had a father whom she called frequently. And I took her to counseling all the time. And, and, and...
    We do our jobs and at some point we say, "I have done my job."
    Does this help at all?

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  3. SJ
    writing is good medicine!


    Ms. Moon
    I'm learning boundaries. Or maybe I'm just turning into a crabby old lady. And yes I take in stray animals too

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  4. Being the cool mom has it's challenges but also it's rewards. My mom was the cool mom, my friends always welcomed. I have wonderful memories of that house and time. I even named my blog for that place, so formative are those experiences. Besides, better to have them all under your own roof where you can see what they're up to than somewhere else!

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  5. I was just about to comment with some advice about instituting a sort of Cool Mom Martial Law but then read that you'd turned your pool into a koi pond anyway, so all I can say is that I'm sending my two sons over to your house. I have absolutely no desire to be a cool mom, but I would love to know that my home was a "happy home."

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  6. Love, love, love it. And what a wonderful observation from your therapist.

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  7. We had a pool when I was growing up and YES there was always mess and noise! I loved it. My parents tolerated it. Looking back I now see that a lot of the kids that hung out at my house a lot were kids from bad homes. They all loved my mom and dad and they loved them.

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  8. Yeah, I caught me some chikungunya before it hit the U.S., so you can blame me.

    It fucking sucks. For some people, not too bad. For some of us, months and months of crippling pain. I hope just months and not years.

    I want to believe your koi would eat the mofo mosquitoes. I hate mosquitoes now - between the malaria and the chikungunya, I'm allowed.

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  9. You came back! I was just checking all the dead links on my blog and your link is alive! So glad to see you - so glad you have a happy home.

    xoxo

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so... wadaya think?

Your fairy is called Columbine Icedancer
She is a bone chilling bringer of justice for the vulnerable.
She lives in mushroom fields and quiet meadows.
She is only seen when the bees swarm and the crickets chirrup.
She wears lilac and purple like columbine flowers. She has icy blue butterfly wings.