Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I did not do dishes. So there!

No, I did not do dishes today. I know, I'm a bad housekeeper with a pile of plates to prove it. If you care so much, you do them!

Instead, I worked harvesting the compost we've developed for two years to enrich the soil in a 5 x 10 patch of impossible red clay for a small garden. 7 plants - that's it. Go ahead - laugh. My garden is late, small and oddly shaped.

The truth is, I'm beginning to learn that there's a time to just say "forget the Joneses, this is about me!" The Joneses have upside-down tomatoes and raised beds with heirloom this and organic that. Of course, based on the weary looks of some parents I've seen, I wonder what they'd think if I hid a mirror in the marigolds for them to see.

I see 7 plants surrounded by deep rich dirt and a kid who puffs up proudly when he talks about what we did today -- together. He never feels that way about clean sinks, but I hold out hope for one day. (Yes, I'm insanely optimistic sometimes).

Why am I planting a garden? What is my purpose? (oh, yes - existential is *so* in this year) If it is to impress others or get accolades then perhaps I need a swift kick in my dirty pockets. It isn't to show my kid how to do everything perfectly, but to do and to ENJOY the time. I'm awful at being there, "in the moment".... but boy can I make a lifelong career out of worrying over those plates. I was raised Southern, second only in guilt to stereotypical Jewish grandmothers.

I want to change that guilt thing. I really do. Thus the defensive obstinate way I handle dishes. I want more pictures taken where I'm laughing and disheveled from silly tickles or great conversation. Besides, everyone looks less fat when smiling, right? I want to live without regrets, earn my laugh lines and divide the pieces of value from the worrywart ancestors I hear echoing every time I throw out a crumb. (Have they seen my waist? Seriously- can't have it both ways.)

I want a lot of things..... but how to keep that wish list straight between laundry, dishes and the idyllic Rockwell family? It's easy to get lost in the doing and forget the reason for pulling myself outta comfy sheets and out into the sweaty, dirty sun. And believe me, after yesterday's garage cleaning it was seriously tug-o-bed. But memories are good and uncovering my version of idyllic is better (mostly) than sleeping in. If I were watching a sit-com I'd wonder at my writers.

Do I think he'll be president because I made this choice? Nah - maybe not. But then again, a garden at the White House has gotten quite a lot of attention - so who am I to say?

I didn't wash my dishes because I was too busy living my life. So sue me.

I'm trying not to shred my sanity with "should's" and "could's," but I'm losing a little. The ghost of my mother is seriously having a fit about those dishes with wailed haunting threats of deathly diseases and perilous sloth. And yes, I'm writing an entry about them so obviously I do care. Certainly we need clean dishes and good food. And I need sanity, but what I've got is a mini garden instead. *shrug* It is a start.

But do those dishes *have* to be cleaned right now? No... not really. A few hours won't matter much and no one I know remembers how many dishes were in the sink at home.

1 comment:

radiantbaby (nicole) said...

Yay on the gardening! If I had any such skills, I'd be doing the same. Gardening is way more productive for the family than dishes is, ultimately, so good on you! :)