I realize now that our home used to be both tidy and clean. Dirty dishes were dealt with after each meal. The living room was always ready for entertaining. Even our office, which does double duty as holding tank for all uncategorizable items , was never more than 30 minutes away from clutter free horizontal surfaces, or at least tidy piles. No wonder visiting friends would roll their eyes when I would exclaim with embarrassment, "Oh, the place is a dis-a-ster!" just because the morning's newspaper was still out, or our bed wasn't made tight enough to bounce a quarter on.
When Miguel crashed into our lives, many people warned us that we would need to let go, that, for example, there was no way we could maintain all of our domestic standards. True enough, many intentions of home cooked meals yielded to delivered pizzas. But we clung to our desire to have a serene, clean home. Always equitable in house chores, we carried on every night after Miguel went to bed, robotically picking up his toys, scrubbing down the kitchen counters, putting the laundry away, resetting the day.
Now we are both back to our full time work schedules. The transition has been brutal in many ways. I can't begin to write to the core of the matter, so I'll stick with clutter for now.
It is acreting. The office is no longer 30 minutes away to serenity. I am typing amidst piles and piles of paper, books and demands. The mounds have started to colonize the dining room, which used to be an altar of clean, teak surfaces. The whole situation makes me twitchy.
But Miguel is not twitchy. He wakes up joyfully each morning, somewhere between 5am (!!!!) and 6 am (much preferred), eager for a new day, unencumbered with expectations about how the house should look. As long as we keep the piles 5 inches away from the edge of our tables, we're OK.