For all my complaining here, I realized something when I picked my boys up from preschool yesterday: I’m going to miss this. I’m going to miss the way they sweat and smell because they still smell like little boys. And I know that won’t last forever.
As I was putting Charles in the car, I bent down to kiss his sweaty forehead. After naptime at preschool, the whole class goes outside to the school’s large playground and, from what I can tell by the aftermath, the boys just run. Around in circles, jumping off the big toys, pushing cars and trucks – they run and run and run. Charles ends up sweaty and dirty at the end of every day and when I kissed him I inhaled his little boy smell with relish. It’s all that sweat and dirt and something more. His skin, still baby tender. The previous night’s lavender bath soap. Remnants of whatever he ate for snack.
Jamie smells even more wonderful. He doesn’t really get sweaty yet, and he no longer smells like spit-up milk, but he still has that sweet baby breath that Charles lost awhile back. His fingers never quite get clean because, unlike Charles, he doesn’t know how to wash his hands, so he always smells like what he last shoved in his mouth and which the washcloth didn’t quite remove. A hint of baby powder, bath soap, and little boy. Oh, it’s so wonderful, I wish I could bottle it.
The other day, after not getting much sleep (when do I ever get “much” sleep, I ask myself), I put my watch on upside-down. It doesn’t have numbers on the face and I truly thought I was running a half-hour late all morning. Until I got to preschool and was signing the boys in. I looked up at the wall clock, thought, “hey, their clock is off,” looked at my watch, and realized my mistake. The boys were at school early and I got to work early. So I made office coffee. And felt like a dumbass. Not like so much of a dumbass that I hated myself for the day, but just enough so that I had a good laugh and brought it up several times to friends and family so we could laugh together at what a dumbass I am sometimes.
I’m falling into a home decorating/remodeling/landscaping wormhole right now that is almost crippling. On the one hand, I dream. I dream of the house I want to have someday, I dream of the changes we could make to our house now to get closer to my ideal home, and I dream up big projects that we could undertake if we had the time and money. On the other hand, I actually strategize, pricing out fixtures and measuring spaces. But I’m paralyzed at taking the next, first step.
So, please allow me to tell you all of the practical (not in-a-dream-world-where-discretionary-income-is-endless) projects to choose from right now: two bathroom remodels, two backyard landscaping projects, a front yard landscaping project, and a living room wall project. I can’t do most of these right now because we need to wait for fall/winter for bushes to die back and I’m just not ready to rip up a bathroom.
However, I want to do something about my walls right away. I almost want to smack myself for this, but I’d like to take down some of the pictures and paintings that we have accumulated over the years. The photos are all of family, beloved, beloved family, and it feels sacrilegious to remove them. The paintings were almost all gifts or inheritances that have sentimental value. But the whole house feels cluttered and dark, and I want to move them. I want to put up a big mirror collage next to the dining room table to reflect some light and make the room seem larger. I want to do the same by the door.
But what do I do with the art and photos? Where do I put them? We have a pretty small house without much wall space. Should I overload the hallways, even though the photos there will never be seen? Box them up? I’m considering blaming Pinterest for my problems here.