Monday, October 01, 2007


I stink.

I've spent the day painting and moving stuff. Have you ever painted hard enough to count it as an aerobic activity? You might consider adding it to your list of things to do before you die. It's great. It mostly results in blisters, hand cramps, and miles and miles of pretty, clean, fresh walls.

As I was slathering on the bazillionth coat of red (if you've ever used red paint on your wall, you know that it does, in fact, require at least one bazillion coats to make it look almost opaque), I was thinking about the delightful messes of life. The colors in the palette today were Cherry Cobbler--oh, yum; Spiceberry--a deep brown that makes one want to bite it; Prelude--a medium blue that feels like an afternoon at a far-away spa; and Plantation--a light green that's not really green, but feels leafy all the same. I was all sweaty and messy, splotched with a veritable rainbow, spreading that lovely red over and over again, filling in the blue that cries out to be jumped into--splash. Listening to all sorts of good stuff on G's CD player, I was nearly knocked over with the sudden beauty of the moment. Goodness. Luscious, slurpy, rich colors, G patiently encouraging the fire blazing in the wood stove, a huge fan running to dry the durned stuff already, kids in and out, bebopping around the room like so many hoppy bunnies. Q playing thoughtfully with his best toy--a shiny deflated mylar balloon. The level of activity almost seemed like a sound-track unto itself; buoying my work as it ebbed and flowed. Did I mention that I was sweaty? Satisfying, that.

With apologies to Sarah, for lifting her thoughts directly from an old post on much the same subject, what would one do without a mess? The business of life is messy. The making of life is messy. The delivery of new life. Messy. But without messes, one would have to skip the lovemaking, the birthing, the living, the dying. Gone would be the smell of a real wood fire, the making of really great cookies, or the painting of great and soaring landscapes or plain old walls. Without messes, each and any of those things fades into rote boredom. Yuck. No sweet lingering, all gooey from adventure or muddy from a hike. I'd so much rather have the messes to clean up, the paint and sweat and tears to wash off under an almost too hot shower, the shirt soaked in breastmilk or spit-up to add to my three to seven daily loads of laundry, than to have missed a single minute from a day like today. Even though I probably won't be able to use my arms tomorrow.

It was a great day, with many accomplishments, a perfect way to round out what was a strange yet wonderful week--last week. Through a series of small and not so small miracles, some needs, even some plain old "wants," have been met and fulfilled here. Some large, some small, every single one of them in profound need of the grace that just showed up, as grace is wont to do in these parts. I know the names of a handful of people who deserve huge recognition for this, but would be tremendously embarrassed were I to out them. So instead I'll just say: thank you. For Q's warm clothes, shoes for the girls, for taking steps to relieve my heart and soul and mind. For being our miracles over the last several days. You know who you are.

"Then those 'sheep' are going to say, 'Master, what are you talking about? When did we ever see you hungry and feed you, thirsty and give you a drink? And when did we ever see you sick or in prison and come to you?' Then the King will say, 'I'm telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.'
Matthew 25:40 (The Message)

The big kids are getting over their colds. Interesting that they were the quickest to catch an itinerant bug--they being the sleep-resistant "I want to read just a little more!" buggers they are. They seem to have inherited their parents' night-owl tendencies, poor things. How wretched a thing for Q to have snot pouring out of his nose--this besides the poor little crusty ear. Even he seems to now be doing much, much better. We had a little tense moment last night when G needed the nebulizer. It was the first time since last winter. Tonight he was much better, Q hasn't needed it at all. (Hope, hope, hope.)

Tomorrow, Q has his usual early morning OT, G will be seen for a review of his glasses (astigmatism) and I'll get his asthma check-up scheduled. The rest of the week will bring dental appointments, more therapies, plenty of school, library, piano lessons, and more. Oh, so much more.

We've got to finish up the process of getting the family room to be a friendly space. It was once, before all the silly people decided that just leaving a box or six when they were moving should be fine. Well, if you were the only one in this sector of the planet who thought that this family room was a crud depository, maybe. I'd still think it rude, but whatever. No. When at least six separate households do that over a span of twenty-seven years, well, let's just say that the dust is finally settling, we've mostly found our own stuff again, and Q's swing is going to soon be able to really fly. And the walls are gorgeous. And I'm sweaty. I know there was more I meant to say, but I can't think what.

Go kiss your beloved, even if you're sweaty. He won't mind. Shoot, he'll probably, well, never mind that. Get going.



BBA said...

Sorry I missed the fun.Long late ride to MV

Katy said...

What a great post. You are a talented writer. I could almost see your paint colors! Glad you are able to see the good.

Katy (Rich with Kids from WTM board)