Wistful Mornings

By Leslie Parks - Sunday, August 10, 2014

I get up and look around.  It's early, the kids aren't up yet.  I peruse pinterest looking at all the photos that seem to say serenity and calmness.  I pick up my book and think about a cup of coffee and my knitting, trying to capture that peaceful nostalgia that I think I want.  But the piles of dishes in the sink, the chips that need to be put away, the shoes that have escaped their bins, they all seem to say "there is no calmness here, only work." I try to explain to my family that it isn't calming and nice to come downstairs to chaos but they don't see chaos.  They've had fun and putting it away isn't fun.  I know it isn't fun.  I try to be patient and do the dishes again.  I've done them the night before but after I go to bed, they need bedtime snacks or Isaac had a low at 2 am and I find the sugar container in the refrigerator.  It doesn't matter that the dishwasher is half full and their dishes can fit.  They don't think about it. I find a milk jug sitting on the counter, it has enough milk for one glass but they don't see that, it looks empty so it sits on the counter, waiting for me to recycle it.  I think about the calm I had when visiting my grandparents.  The quiet mornings with a cup of coffee and a couple of slices of bread smeared with homemade jam.  That morning isn't available here. I have traded it for an open door policy or as I like to call it "A Revolving Door Policy".  So I've made a sign with that motto and put it at my front door.  With this in mind we often have extra kids, over night, for the day, for a couple of hours, really whatever.  If I need them to go home, I just tell them.  If we are at home and someone shows up, and they know us well enough, they just walk right in and weave through the house until they find who ever they are looking for. The restriction being that kids don't spend the night here on Fridays or Saturdays; John wants a calm weekend.  This summer I've been thinking and pondering the whole policy and thinking upon my growing up years.  I didn't often stay overnight at someone's house and didn't have people stay at mine.  It was a different family dynamics and it is and was fine. Up until this summer I really haven't pondered it much but realize that it was an unconscious/conscious decision to be open with our house and other kids. So when I look at the dishes, shoes, the basket that I call a give back basket (other kids stuff) I realize that the calm mornings are easily given up and at another time in life I will have the calm mornings and may pine for the chaos.

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