Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The less-fun, but necessary, side of balance

What a day we had yesterday! Funny how being woken-up at 6:30AM doesn't seem so terrible when your three-year-old is bellowing "Santa left a trail of fruit snacks! He came!" We enjoyed living the day through his eyes, while keeping tabs on the little sister (not yet a year old, but close!) as she tried sampling wrapping paper, boxes, and crawling over/through/around the opened packages to make sense of it all (using all of her 5 senses). We also enjoyed many phone calls to family scattered across the country as we shared Christmas greetings, stories of Christmases come and gone, and thanks for love and generosity . We also reported our good fortune of having a white Christmas (not REALLY, but we did enjoy watching snowflakes fall for about two hours). It was a good day.

So yesterday's words were "fun" and "family". Today's words are "clean" and "juggle". I'm the one doing the cleaning - the bathrooms, the laundry, finishing cleaning the kitchen (my husband started this morning, but that job is just NEVER finished), getting gifts put away. My husband is chief-in-charge of the juggling, though I suppose I'm doing a bit of that, too. He's finishing a floor tiling job with my dad in our basement (thanks, Dad!), juggling our son (the "helper"), the dog who is happy to go outside/inside (repeat!), and some of his own cleaning as he works on the floor. I'm handling the other half of the time with our son ("I need a break - that's hard work" he reports), thank you notes (one at a time, which is as long as I can keep Ethan's attention to complete, or as long as I can sit before having to refocus Megan!), and our still-curious and excited daughter. Oh, and of course, there's that cleaning stuff!!

But as part of me wants to grumble (cleaning is not my cup of tea, but really who wakes up and says, "Wow! What a beautiful day, I think I'll go scrub a toilet. There's just nothing more satisfying than a clean throne!"), the other part of me realizes the reality of cleaning/chores is all part of what enables us to enjoy the "fun" and "family" part of life. Thank you notes are an essential part of the season for me. I like taking the time to reflect on the love and thought that went into the carefully chosen gifts people sent, processing the true puprose of gift exchange. And I hope that sharing those moments with the gift-givers helps them feel like they are here with us.

Oh, And I DO have to admit that there IS something satisfying about a clean bathroom, even if it isn't the force that drives my day.

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