Whenever George goes out of town, I look at the inside of the house with new eyes. Its as though having one less person here exposes the mess tenfold. What, was all of this shit hiding behind him, or have I just slowed down enough to look around and see the inside of my house as a stranger would. Say a stranger from DFACS. Who might condemn the place and take my kid away.
After all, you shouldn't have seven hamster poops laying on the livingroom floor for five days. Especially when you (vaguely) know they are there. I mean, you saw them, you didn't really want to know because the mess that has taken over the rest of the room, and adjoining rooms, really makes animal feces pale in comparison.
Today I cleaned the living room. Two baby hamsters and two grown hamsters, who must live in separate cages lest they create MORE baby hamsters, are just not helping the cause of cleaning up our act. But as I take the mama out of her cage and she rolls over in my hand to show me her belly, proud that she raised up her babies just fine this time, I'm glad we have them.
When it's quiet nighttime with just Jenna and me, and my imagination wanders to sudden noises and shadows moving, I'm glad for the three hamster wheels, squeaking away in unison, downstairs. No reason for a scare. It's just the hamsters, or the dog, or garbage bag full of old school papers and hamster shavings falling off the chair, or DFACS at the door.
The good thing about letting my house go to pot is that I used to NOT be able to do it. It used to be a source of anxiety, me moving things the minute anyone put them down. Trying to make order out of a lifetime of chaos.
Now that I've accepted chaos as chaos, now that I can identify it and at times have begun even to notice the specialness of disorder, to enjoy the free-form world, my life is more peaceful.
At the same time, I think I need a cleaning lady. Because learning to live in the moment can be really messy.