My old house

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away I had a clean house.

I remember returning from a lovely walk by the mill with my friend Pauline, Little J and our dogs on a sunny day. As I put my son for his midday nap, I would start my routine. Vacuuming the hideous blue carpets, tidying up toys, dusting the fireplace mantle. I would look out the window in the study as I straightened up the paperwork to spy my dog sleeping in the back yard. I remember the big water calc stain in the shower floor that never went away. The smell of white vinegar as I cleaned it. The crisp air of the english country side on an early spring afternoon coming through the wide open windows, filling up the rooms. I would stop to look at my neighbor across the road, hiding behind the curtain so she does not notice me as she struggles with her four year old son. Thinking I would never allow my boy to act that way. Never.

Then I would check on him, sleeping in his crib, dreaming peacefully. I knew there was at least an hour left before he was ready to wake up. I would go downstairs, make my self a cup of tea and snuggle up in my reading chair under a cozy blanket. Flipping through my favorite catalogues, wishing for new wellies and a tweet jacket. Big M would knock on the french windows and I let him in. He slept under my feet and I we were there. On a sunny spring day in a small English town.

I thought of all this as I cleaned the house today. The silly song of the dryer indicating the cycle was finished brought me back. The guilt washed over me as I realized it has been an hour since I asked my husband to take our boy and dog to the beach so I can tidy up. I was no where near done and I planned to sit down and read some blogs I have been neglecting before they return. I thought about texting him to grab me a cup of coffee from drive thru to buy myself a few extra minutes and get my daily treat too. I rushed to wash the floors quick as I reasoned against the coffee.

Sometimes I really miss who I used to be.

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  1. Posted September 6, 2012 at 10:03 by Terri Sonoda | Permalink

    What a poignant story! I love your descriptions. Makes me long to live somewhere other than this desert I live in.
    Today’s my 59th birthday, and oddly enough, I was thinking about earlier times, too. The days when my sons were small like yours. Those were beautiful days.
    Enjoy your days. All of them. I LOVE the person that you are right now, my friend!
    Terri Sonoda recently posted..Customers behaving badly

  2. Posted September 6, 2012 at 10:04 by Theresa Sonoda via Facebook | Permalink

    Loved this!

  3. Posted September 6, 2012 at 10:13 by Rorybore | Permalink

    You know it’s been 8 years at home with kids…..8 years that it finally took me to get over the guilt and somedays: just put my feet up. Have that 3rd…….fine, 4th cup of coffee and yes – let them watch a video. I am convinced the loss of mommy’s sanity and well being is a far more damaging thing to them, than a few more. minutes with Dora.
    I find my cleaning, organizing, etc. goes in spurts now. I can be so slack for weeks…..and then suddenly; whirlwind of activity. And, I’m completely okay with that.
    So grab a coffee, pick up that magazine…..I just got the new IKEA!!!! — and Restore yourself. :)
    Rorybore recently posted..Putting the Coffee On!

  4. Posted September 6, 2012 at 12:18 by Cindy Pickering | Permalink

    Stasha, my advice is: sit more, worry about dust bunnies less! Soon your son will be a man, and you will have more time to do what you want to–whether it’s cleaning or reading or going on a walk by yourself! That will be wonderful, but then you will wish you had sat with him more, and all this goes to show: whatever we do right now, we never feel it is enough!! Later on we always seem to regret not doing more when we could–so just sit there in the sun, read your blogs, and make the most of every minute! Don’t worry about what you didn’t think needed to be done that badly anyway, just relax, slow down a little, and make every minute count-especially with your son!! He will grow up so fast and then you’ll have other stuff to worry about-like how he’s gonna get into grad school and whether he’ll ever be able to pay off his student loans! No matter how old he gets, you will be worrying about him! I So, just go with the moment, take the time to savor it, and appreciate your beautiful life!! And don’t you dare feel guilty when you take a few minutes for yourself!! And don’t feel bad about mourning your previous life either!! It’s all good!

  5. Posted September 6, 2012 at 17:08 by Alison | Permalink

    Eh, the house will never be clean enough, so don’t worry about it. Too much. Enjoy the now. (I know you do because I see your pictures!)
    Alison recently posted..Priorities

  6. Posted September 6, 2012 at 18:45 by Runnermom-jen | Permalink

    Having a clean house is a losing battle. We are pulled in so many directions!!
    P.S. Sometimes I miss who I used to be too.
    Runnermom-jen recently posted..Good To Be Home…

  7. Posted September 6, 2012 at 20:39 by Jessica | Permalink

    I think about those kind of things sometimes, too. Someday we’ll have our time back, and then we’ll be longing for the days when our boys were young. :)
    Jessica recently posted..Keeping it Real

  8. Posted September 6, 2012 at 20:42 by Bruna | Permalink

    Me too! You’re not alone in thinking so. Life changes in so many ways . We miss the old but love the now:)
    Bruna recently posted..1st grade and last year of preschool

  9. Posted September 7, 2012 at 00:58 by Barbara | Permalink

    I sometimes think back to our house before all of the toys on the floor and dishes in the sink. My house will never be the same, some days it is harder than other to accept. I just need to convince my husband to hire a cleaning lady. ;)
    Barbara recently posted..The Girl who Cried Pre-school

  10. Posted September 7, 2012 at 02:45 by monica | Permalink

    so beautiful. I relate HUGELY. ;)
    monica recently posted..I Love Fall! {Fall Fashion edition.}

  11. Posted September 7, 2012 at 07:48 by Ally | Permalink

    Life does change, whether we are ready or want it to. This was beautifully written.
    Ally recently posted..Your Body Style Is Great

  12. Posted September 7, 2012 at 07:55 by Iza Trapani | Permalink

    What a melancholy musing, my Friend. That sounds like a lovely, peaceful time in your life. It seems there is less time with each advancing year. I know I’ve had to set priorities and as much as I love clean, uncluttered space , I do not put housework at the top of the list. Let the dust gather a bit and make extra time for YOU! Xo

  13. Posted September 7, 2012 at 08:11 by Susi | Permalink

    I feel just the same. The mommy guilt always warring inside me… I’ve learned to let go somewhat but I’m nowhere near where I want to be… I barely remember my old, clean house!!!
    Susi recently posted..So much to do, so little time… and some fill in fun

  14. Posted September 7, 2012 at 08:57 by [email protected] | Permalink

    Forget the house cleaning. Take more amazing pictures and write more beautiful blog posts :)
    [email protected] recently posted..5 Reasons I Can No Longer Relate To The Little House On The Prairie

  15. Posted September 7, 2012 at 11:27 by [email protected] | Permalink

    I have a very unorganized-organized house — in the neatness department. Some days it even applies to rooms. Some straight some disasters. There is something wonderful about a clean house. So restful. But it takes so much time.
    [email protected] recently posted..I was doing fine. Then came the birthday.

  16. Posted September 7, 2012 at 12:18 by Stacie | Permalink

    I”d love to have a clean clutter free house but it’s impossible with kids and dogs. None of us are perfect, you deserve a break!
    Stacie recently posted..I Fear Tornados

  17. Posted September 7, 2012 at 13:27 by Audrey | Permalink

    Ah sometimes I miss who I used to be. With a clean house and enough sleep at night so I wasn’t tired and crabby by 3 pm. But these days will fly by, and soon we will have all the time in the world to clean

  18. Posted September 7, 2012 at 17:12 by Jenn | Permalink

    I want to give you a hug after reading this. I think it’s human nature to miss certain parts of who we used to be. Always allow yourself to feel it before you move on to treasuring the present moment, because as you know, someday you’ll miss this version of you, too. <3 Sending hugs. xo
    Jenn recently posted..The Story of Road Warrior

  19. Posted September 7, 2012 at 19:53 by Anna | Permalink

    This is so beautifully written, I feel like I can see everything you are describing. I wish I realized at the time how good I had it when my son was still so little and took 1 or 2 naps a day. Once that time is gone, it’s a struggle but when it’s here, there’s usually something else that feels like a struggle as well. We moms love to be hard on ourselves, we are so good at it! But I say, no more. You are a wonderful mom and woman, we are all only human. Kick that guilt to the curb, have the coffee and enjoy the quiet, free time.
    Anna recently posted..My Favorite Change

  20. Posted September 8, 2012 at 05:46 by secret mom thoughts | Permalink

    Sometimes you just need some me time. The floors will wait.
    secret mom thoughts recently posted..High Flying

  21. Posted September 9, 2012 at 14:13 by Diane | Permalink

    *sigh*…me too. Your comment about “never allowing your boy to act that way” made me LOL! Been there. :D
    Diane recently posted..Special "O"lympics…5-Pin Bowling

  22. Posted September 12, 2012 at 07:19 by Liz | Permalink

    Don’t be too hard on yourself, Stasha! I think it’s normal to reminisce about days gone by. I often stop and think about the days when it was just me and my 4, when they were younger. Life was so much simpler, more peaceful… incredibly busy but peaceful and so much fun and laughter was had by all. Now my children are all adults, and one is missing which breaks my heart.
    And I have 5 step daughters who are/have been incredibly chaotic most of their lives (I’m not at all used to chaos)… and two of them constantly inflict pain on their kind & loving Dad, but particularly me.
    I often wish for those days when my children were all at home… and I had my independence (which my car accident stole from me). I guess I just long for peace…
    I love your description of your house in England… I didn’t realise you had only been in the US for 3 years or so. The English countryside is divine!! I plan to do some blog posts on my 2010 trip in the next couple of weeks… which may also include my short 4 day stop over in CA on my way around the world :)
    If it’s any consolation… I absolutely LOVE your daily activities and journeys :)

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