Unwashed Dishes

Just something I want to remember today...

There are days that, out of necessity, my dishwasher is run twice.  Big baking days or canning.  Long weekends.  Then there are day when it isn't run even once, despite necessity.

Sometimes I feel like my very best effort was just getting dishes done, to be able to have a clean kitchen to cook in all day, and keep my kids alive.  And sometimes my kids are not only alive but happy as well and the dishes aren't even looked at.  Today was one of those days.

I'm learning, after being a mom for the past five years, about priorities.  I have always known the dishes would wait but the children would not.  Who hasn't become teary eyed over poems and saying of how children don't keep?  But it's so much easier said than done.

Yet as of late I realize that some of my best days are the days when I don't get the dishes done before bedtime.  Instead I rock a baby a little longer, paint my 3-year-old's finger AND toe nails, read a book to my kindergartner before she goes to school, brush a daughter's hair as she sits in her room before bed, play hopscotch in the back yard, bake tiny cupcakes and swear my 7-month-old baby helped make them because I had him pretend to stir,  watch a Walking Stick be tousled in the wind in the back yard, lie next to my daughter who pops her eyes open three times at nap time just to tell me she loves me.  Dishes have nothing to do with that and they have no place in a day like today.

There was a time I would have felt like a failure to have a sink full of dishes at the end of the day.  Sometimes I still do, but I'm getting over it, slowly.  For several reason, the past month of our lives have taught me that these children of mine don't keep.  They don't keep small.  They don't keep the same expressions.  They don't keep happy without love and encouragement and attention and listening. 

And dishes have no place in all of this.  The height of the food stained tower in my sink is not an equation of self worth and ability as a mother, wife, or homemaker.  Mostly they're just dishes.  And they can be washed later.

1 comment:

Jewel said...

Oh, my dear friend...have you been reading my Facebook statuses as of late?
Because this, my dear, kind, sweet, amazing friend--is exactly what I needed to hear right this very moment.
I sure love you.