{pretty, happy, funny, real} (Vol. 3)

In all honesty, I write this on one of those evenings when “contentment” doesn’t seem like the most natural thing to focus on. Not for any major reason; it’s just been one of those evenings when Daddy was home late and boys were challenging. (“They have been driving! me! crazy!” is how I put it to my husband.)

So. I sit here kind of huffing and grumbling and guiltily remembering how I yelled tonight.

Sigh.

But… contentment: this week’s contentment for {pretty, happy, funny, real}. It is, of course, something I should focus on. Especially at moments like these.

{pretty}

P1160373

I’d do best to think of my big boy this way on evenings that frustrate me. Aren’t sleeping children always so pretty? He sure is, with his soft, round cheeks and his long eyelashes. Each time I catch him like this, I fall in love all over again.

20130922_170759

I do the same with his brother, of course. He’s got the prettiest blonde hair and the sweetest little lips. And I just love his chubby, scraped-up, little-boy hands.

{happy}

But, motherly mush and all, do you know what really made me happiest this week? This little scene:

P1160381

We have a bedroom on our second floor that you have to walk through to get from one side of the house to the other. So it’s not exactly very private. And since we don’t need all of our bedrooms right now, I’ve made this one into a catch-all room of sorts. It’s for craft supplies and wrapping paper and sewing stuff and laundry sorting and ironing and file organizing – and it’s where everything gets dumped until it finds the right home elsewhere. I can’t tell you how much I love having such a room. It’s a homemaker’s fantasy, that’s what it is.

P1160384

Anyway, up until this point its primary purpose has been the last one I mentioned. It’s where stuff gets dumped. So you can imagine what it’s been looking like, can’t you? It’s been pretty bad. Boxes, piles of papers, bags of forgotten things, random items scattered around the surfaces… and everything seems to be overflowing.

But! This past weekend I got a few hours to myself and I started to tackle the mess. I got this whole lovely corner clear, I set out a few pretties, and I (gasp!) even organized the closet:

P1160388

I’m far from done, but I cannot describe to you how happy this progress makes me. Now all of my *wrapping materials, at least, are organized and in reach. So are our lightbulbs. And paper. And baby books. So now if I want any of these things, all I have to do is reach in and get them! I don’t have to fish them out from underneath a pile! What a concept. Now every time I walk through this room, it’s as if I’m taking in a breath of fresh air. It feels so good to have accomplished something, even if the something is very little in the scheme of things.

P1160385

* What do you think of the cabinet I’m keeping my wrapping paper in? Isn’t it silly/wonderful? I’d been looking for something, anything to suit the purpose, when the people we bought our house from offered to sell us this cabinet for – get this – $20. (They’d felt bad selling it for more, as they’d drilled it full of holes, to fish Christmas lights through it.) I jumped at the offer. I couldn’t have found something ugly and poorly-made for that price, let-alone a hand-made, glass-fronted cabinet. Score!

{funny}

20130925_102903

Yes, they’re scrubbing the floor. Yes, they’re only 2 and 3 years old. Isn’t it funny? They have this pair of black-soled “fireman” rain boots that make terrible scuffs on the floor. Yesterday they ran loops around the kitchen while wearing the boots and I needed something to occupy them for a few minutes anyway. So I handed each a wet paper towel, asked them to clean up their mess, and they happily got to work scrubbing the scuff marks. Their work didn’t accomplish much, but they seemed to enjoy it and I sure did!

{real}

We have a lovely yard, but it’s not the easiest to take small children out into. Mostly because our house is set into a hill, so most of our property is either sloped or terraced. And also because we have a lot of brick patio, surrounded by brick walls. Here’s an example:

P1160327

P1160329

Beautiful, yes. But also dangerous. So when I take the boys out, I like to move them away from all the hazards and give them an open space in which to play.

20130924_175524

They’re completely uninterested in this. The boys like the hazards very much and try to escape back to them whenever possible. Of course when I’m keeping tight enough control to prevent them from accessing the big hazards, they seek out little ones wherever they can find them.

20130924_180115

It’s a constant struggle and to be honest, I really dislike taking them outside because of it. The other evening when I attempted some outside time, I sat in the grass and tried to soak it all in. It was a lovely evening. The boys were so happy to be out. I tried really, really hard to enjoy it too. But one boy or another kept running away. They kept not listening. They kept pouring dirt over each other’s heads. They kept throwing rocks. They kept fighting with sticks. They kept trying to love (i.e. squish) poor, defenseless caterpillars.

20130924_180151

20130924_180203

The evening was yet another reminder that I’m mothering boys here. Sometimes they seem like foreign creatures to me, with their drives to escape and tackle and tear down. I love them deeply; I love watching their faces light up with wonder and joy. And I know it’s good for them to be out here. But – as good as I know it to be – sometimes it’s hard for me to enjoy this outdoor time with them. Sometimes the real gets ahead of the contentment.

20130924_175455

Sometimes.

 

Be sure to stop by Like Mother, Like Daughter to see everybody else’s {pretty, happy, funny, real}!

pretty happy funny real[1]

 

2 thoughts on “{pretty, happy, funny, real} (Vol. 3)

  1. Ah, boys! How nice that you were able to capture them in motion and dozing off. I enjoyed and learned from your insights 🙂

    I love your cabinet of wrapping papers! All I have is an underbed storage bin, but I happily found out that corralling wrapping supplies keeps you from having to buy a roll each time you need to wrap a gift.

    • Thank you! We used under-bed storage bins for wrapping materials when we lived in our old house. And they worked fine, when I didn’t have junk blocking access to the under-bed space. But when we were in the process of moving into a bigger place, I spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking about how I would store all those random things that never seem to have a home — wrapping materials, poster board, glue gun, sewing box, fabric, suitcases, dirty laundry, etc. I was far less preoccupied than I should have been with bedrooms, living space, kitchen, etc. — I just wanted a room for all the random stuff!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s