Usually the first thing you will hear when you walk into my house is, "Please excuse our mess," as I bend over to pick up a random article that is in the path of my guest walking into my house. But over the past seventeen years of being a mother I've learned, this is what home is all about.
I have classifications for all my boys, according to their method of cleaning/or not. They certainly go through phases and they move in and out of them.
There is the Couch Clutterer:
This title has moved from one to another over the years. It used to be called the "Locker" for my second oldest son, since that's where we'd find his things. It is now called the "Dresser" for my youngest, as this is where I can find an entire week's worth of discarded clothing.
There is the Collector:
Currently this title goes to the 4th born. He is into Rubik's cubes and they are everywhere! This is not to rival the massive collection of duct tape in all colors and prints. When he dives into an obsession he does it with all his heart.
There is the Everywhere kid:
This title goes to the "middle" son. A little of him is scattered all through the entire house (inside and out and in the car too.)
This goes back to the second born. Though his belongings aren't usually scattered around, there is usually one pile that moves each time I ask for him to pick it up. It just changes location.
Then lastly The Room Dumpers:
This title goes to my bookend kiddos. The eldest and the youngest. They don't have things all over the house. (minus the youngest's clothes) All belongings are in their bedrooms. And sometimes you can see a small piece of carpet in their rooms.
Now, I get all upset over this. It's true. I throw more Mommy Meltdowns over the tidiness of my house more than I do any other thing. But then I'm reminded of my mother's saying when I was growing up, "We live in our house." It's so true!!! We don't show off our home. We don't entertain everyday. We sleep here. We eat here. We laugh here. We love here. We are family here. Everyone's items mixing with everyone else's is what home is. A bringing together of all things that are important to each other. I'll miss when there are no Lego pieces underfoot and old homework assignments stacked on a table. I'll miss hockey pucks in my yard and smelly sports equipment in my garage.
So, yes. I'm going to say, "Pardon the mess," and invite you in. You're never really going to notice it are you? You're going to think how wonderfully full of love my house is. You'd be right and now you're in my home and you're part of our family. Welcome.