When I walk through the garage door into my kitchen each day after work, I typically can only see glimpses of the tan and gray granite that was installed a year ago on our kitchen counters and bar. We redesigned our kitchen after the flood in January creating a large island where we eat. I have previously blogged about the long process of choosing the bar stools for this kitchen bar. I love our new kitchen, however, I have noticed the large rectangular kitchen bar has become a landing place for our stuff.
Our new kitchen bar is the centerpiece of the entire kitchen and den and looks so elegant in contrast to the creamy cabinets we chose with bronze fixtures. The wavy pattern of the granite is spectacular, however, I only get to see it every few days for a window of time once I get it cleaned off. On a normal day, like today, mail stacks sit neatly where I left them on the granite bar. The pale green tin pitcher with lavender hydrangeas in it erupts from the center of the kitchen bar.
Receipts are scattered about on the bar along with wrappers from the fruit snack that one of my daughters ate last night. The Photo Order Form for School Pictures waits for me today to fill out and send back with one of my children for her pictures tomorrow. Oh, and we must not forget to choose a memorable outfit for her picture tonight. That reminds me, I have at least three loads of laundry to do tonight.
I try to stay on top of laundry, keep a neat kitchen and house, but I’ve come to realize that we actually live there. As inhabitants of this special place called HOME, there is evidence that we have been there and have been doing life together. There will be dishes to take out of the dishwasher and new ones to load. Are we all learning to pick up after ourselves? Yes. Do we sometimes forget? Yes. Am I okay with the evidence that we spent time together? Yes.
I am celebrating the loads of laundry and the life that exists in my home. I often think as I am doing the laundry about the fact that I have laundry to do. As often as I remind my girls to not take off their clothes wrong side out, I find myself turning them right side in more often than not. It is these times when I choose to complain in my heart or I choose to celebrate that I have girls who need their laundry done.
Right now, I’m celebrating the evidence of my family.
There are shoes in the den, forgotten to be taken to their designated home upstairs.
Orange peels are in the sink where Gene made a fruit smoothie. I am so proud of him for not reaching for high sugar snacks and instead supporting me as we aim to eat whole, natural foods to lower my blood sugar and generate patterns of healthful choices for our family.
Soggy washcloths hang in my girls’ shower which they forgot to wring out and place in the washroom.
Doll beds and dolls were left abruptly on the floor in our playroom as my girls were whisked away to start a new task during the weekend.
I can’t wait to get home today from work and experience the life that exists there.
I will relish every word as my oldest daughter will share aloud the plot of her novel as she gets more into it. She’s sharing more about books that she enjoys now. Stopping only for a snack on Sunday afternoon, she couldn’t put the book down. My heart gleams to see this metamorphosis. I can’t wait to ask her something I learned today from a Teachers College Reading Writing Project Trainer which is to focus on her behaviors as a reader. I plan to ask her “What has been your best day of reading? What were you doing?”
My youngest daughter will start a new book series tonight, “The 13 Story Treehouse”. She picked it out at Barnes and Noble over Spring Break. Could this be the start of a new and memorable book series experience? Time will tell but I am glad that she will have time to read and envision the moments that exist inside the book. I plan to conference with her on what the traits of the main characters are and and explain how the actions of the characters contribute to the sequence of events. I plan to ask her, “What was your worst day of reading? What were you doing?” Doing this type of research will help me as I encourage my girls to do the work of reading closely.
I am a wife, a mom and a teacher. Getting to know my daughters and how they interact with text whether in actual books, through song lyrics that they sing or through television shows that they watch helps me to understand them better and nudge them to think deeply about what they read and view.
Both girls will practice piano for their upcoming Recital in May. Hearing the melodies waft through the air of my house is evidence of their hard work and effort. I have seen some piano music that stretched them and even caused tears. I love it when I can come alongside of them and support them to understand a hard part which leads to courage to try again. Growth is always my goal when I see them struggle with anything. Being there to hear the music and gauge the level of support needed is my job.
I may hear my littlest girl bounce her new basket ball outside or see the oldest child swing in the swing set by the play structure known fondly as our “tree house”. I know that years from now, these images will be engrained into my memory. I love to see them active and happy. They have been walking with me in the evenings lately and even running soon in a 5K. As they prepare, I hear them cheering me on and pushing themselves to run more than ever. For this, I am so pleased.
When Gene walks in from work with our dog who will start prancing through the house, my heart will jump a beat. I love that moment when he appears and drops the loads of work that he brings home on our kitchen counter filling it to the brim with stuff. He will kiss me and for a moment, I breathe and often flashback to the decades of history that we’ve written together.
It is all of that stuff on the bar that I cherish. It is evidence that we are together, sharing the job of parenting. We love each other and bond together more as we listen to each other and to our kids. It is at this bar where we’ll say the evening prayer over our shared meal. I love this bar and this family.
Hopefully, I’ll see Gene sit on the couch with both girls at his side where he will hold them and tickle them like he did yesterday on the rainy Sunday afternoon. He looked up as he tickled them and our eyes met. That glance and that moment was the one that made my day yesterday.
The love, the laughter, the laundry, the homework, and the responsibilities create vibrancy and bring joy. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I accept that perfection is not the requirement. Living in harmony and speaking life to each other are my goals. I can’t wait to get home today.