For the first few years the girls were home for school, the piles unnerved me. I had a first grader, a 4 year old, and a newborn. The laundry was always a rotating chore – never finished. The sink was often full and I would clean a room only to turn around and have it be disheveled 10 moments later. I was told it would happen and they were right.
They were also right that after a few years, it doesn’t bother you as much as it once did. I wish I had listened to the voices that told me to let the piles be and just relax, but you learn by doing and I learned, that I can clean up all I want during the day (and I sometimes I still do) and yet there will always be something more to do. I’m still learning this lesson after 8 years.
Wisdom and age tells me to let the piles rest and just appreciate them for what they are. Simplistic sounding, I know, but a much more high-minded person could use this same principle for something else that constantly requires tending but never offers a satisfactory solution. Do with this bit of unsolicited advice what you will: Let the piles be.
It doesn’t mean I leave the growing mounds forever, where their girth eventually swallows our family alive and leaves us applying to star on an episode of “Hoarders” – no – I just mean the urgency to remove, dust, and straighten has all but left my being. Not sure whether it’s a product of aging or slight laziness, I often just walk by the piles.
And more and more often I find myself staring at the piles – they are everywhere – and being filled with wonder. Wonder at all my girls are blessed to consume and be enchanted by. Books and paints and art and watercolors. It’s a bit of a mess, yes, but it’s a sign of the times – those being the best of times – where we are all near to one another and their imagination is allowed, encouraged, and abounding.
One day I’ll walk into our living room and marvel at the gleaming sheen on the coffee table. For now, I’ll let the piles be.