It Ain’t Like It Used To Be
Just thinking of how different my life is now that our nest is empty.
I can mix different kinds of dry cereal together at my pleasure. When I used to attempt that with children in the house, the general consensus was “B-l-e-c-h! What have you done to the Cheerios?” And they stayed suspicious of me for several weeks, eyeing the contents of their bowls like a hawk. I was merely trying to eliminate some of the cereal box clutter – but you would have thought they suspected me of felonious activity.
My washer is not fearful anymore that its galvanized sides will burst wide open with a ton of whatever happened to be piled on the bedroom floor. Poor thing, it soon started to gulp and shake whenever one of the kids approached it. I had to do some intense recovery therapy before it would open up even to me.
Nowadays I don’t ever leave a clean kitchen and return to find a room so bizarrely different that I have to back up outside to check the address. But in the old days I might find: bread sacks blaring open, knife covered in mayo resting atop random pieces of cheese (also dotting the floor), juice left out after creating a sticky spill, cabinet doors gaping, drawers pulled out, and trails of crumbs exposing the sinner. Regarding the open drawers and cabinets, I once accused Jim of a genetic defect he’d passed along to our kids: he could use his arm to pull objects toward himself, but was incapable of pushing anything closed. He denied it, said it was my overactive imagination.
I gave up trying to turn my teen sons’ bedrooms into replicas of magazine pictures. Pretty sheet sets and handsome spreads were useless. The top sheets lived on the floor (violating my mother’s rule that one never, never sleeps next to the spread or comforter – Why? You’d ruin it). That dictate of polite society got stowed away just like those top sheets and my druthers.
Yes, life is different nowadays for sure. All the beds stay made up, the towels remain on the holders, scissors don’t disappear, both sheets adorn all the beds, and closets don’t smell like somebody’s tennis shoes contracted a disease, died, and rotted in them.
If I could, would I go back in time to picky eaters, offended appliances, bizarrely messy kitchens (and other rooms), various interesting odors, and home décor- challenged offspring?
In a heartbeat.