My mom once said she wished she had spent less time cleaning when my brother, sister and I were growing up and more time hanging out with us. Actually, I don’t know that she said hanging out, but that’s the general idea. I turned her wish around a bit and told my friends who were embarrassed by their lack of meticulous housekeeping that a messy home is the sign of a good mom.
Often their response would be, “tell my husband that.” Oh well. Tell him to pitch in.
But really, I get what my mom was saying. Our home was always clean–save the kids’ rooms–but should that be what we remember most about growing up? I can’t say it’s my strongest memory, but I definitely would have benefited with a little more attention from my mom. And my dad, for that matter.
Still, every parent has regrets and every child–even an adult child–has his or her complaints. I’m leaving the rest alone. I am where I am, I love my parents and I’m too old to dwell on what should have been.
I can’t say I inherited my mom’s penchant for cleanliness. My home is sanitary and presentable, except for the storage room, which I’m still working on. It’s sanitary but hardly presentable. But my apartment is not as clean as my mom kept things. It could do with a little dusting right now. I don’t remember ever seeing dusty book shelves when I was growing up.
I have no excuse. I only have cats. So I guess I’m going to start working on this storage room again. And to those of you with kids–relax and enjoy your children. The rest will get done.
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