choresFamilyfamily reunion

When You Really Start Appreciating Your Mother

By June 26, 2014 7 Comments

In a week the party starts. Our little cape will be housing one big happy family which is six smaller families which is 28 people, 13 of these lovelies being children. Got that?

We are renting a porta-potty, borrowing tents, and discussing karaoke.

Every year we travel west, but this year, the gang is coming east.

This year we are the hosts. And I have running thoughts all day long…will everyone have fun? will we have enough fridge space? what if it rains the whole time? I wish I liked my couch cushions more, will anyone want to come back?

In anticipation of such an event, mother dear (me) declared we would be cleaning for a week. You can imagine the rejoicing!

I didn’t sign the kids up for anything – no swimming lessons, no music, no sports, no nothin’. We’re having Cleaning Camp! It’s been awesome.DSC_0332Instead of simply tidying up, I decided the whole house would be purged and scoured. All while listening to Mozart.

It’s official: I’ve turned into my mother.DSC_0374Cleaning Camp is so fun! We wake up and sing with joy at the prospect of scrubbing base boards, sweeping up nasty dust balls under benches, and finding shrunken grapes under the couch. Unfortunately, these are true stories. DSC_0375The darling oldest child plays Disney music and says, “Let’s pretend we’re Cinderella and we have to work for a wicked stepmother.” Of course I can’t fathom what she means.DSC_0382 We dust the drapes, scrub the floors, and…DSC_0385 often get distracted by the Disney music.

DSC_0386But we quickly recover and go back to scrubbing grubby fingerprints off the wall.

If I didn’t know it before, I know it now: Children just don’t care as much as you do. And that’s okay.

I have been thinking of my mother a lot this week. Of how much of her life has been getting ready for her children to come home, to make sure they want to come home.

Of course, guests aren’t coming for the perfect house, they are coming to see you.


Still, I decided I needed to paint the closet.

For seven years I’ve wanted to paint this closet and I’ll tell ya, it feels sooooo nice. Even our Tenny boy loves it.

DSC_0380The staff decided he would paint the trim, something he’s been wanting to do for three years.

There’s nothing like company to spur us into action! DSC_0355 When we need food I go down to the garden, where everything started messy and is now growing so beautifully. Yes, my friends, the work is worth the effort. For plants and for family.

Down in the garden I munch away like Peter Rabbit. Who needs grocery stores when you’ve got kale and swiss chard?

After a few hours of quality Cleaning Camp with four Cinderellas we have a reward. Like lunch. And World Cup!DSC_0338Speaking of messy, my boy is obsessed with Messi from Argentina. Dempsey of the USA is a close second. And what’s up with the biter?

It’s quite perfect to sit down and in front of the TV and feel all patriotic instead of neglectful.

I think we must all be feeling the Cleaning Camp love as this evening when we said family prayer, Cope said, “Thank you that we could clean this morning and have fun as a family.” When I grinned at her she said, “Notice they were separate events.”

So tell me, are you having as much fun as we are? And please tell me you have fond memories of cleaning with your mother.




  • Sing with joy? I believe the shrunken grape story. I’d be surprised if we didn’t have a few of those ourselves. It’s the singing with joy part I’m having trouble with.

    Although, if the whole house is alive with Disney music, it would be pretty hard NOT to be cheerful, no matter what you’re doing!

    *light bulb goes on over my head*

  • maisymak says:

    I may have exaggerated the “sing with joy” part. This morning when I announced we were cleaning the kitchen my son said, “You said we wouldn’t ever have a day like yesterday!” which of course I would never say 🙂 It’s getting cleaner…I think.

  • Katie says:

    Your creativity is endless. How you make reading about cleaning magical is amazing.

  • Sarah says:

    I loved this- my biggest hope of hopes, is that one day, my kids wil tell storis like this…that they will remember back and say things like you said today 🙂 P.s. I love the lost in the music pic! p.p.s. I may or may not have let the Cinderella dvd play for like 2 hours on the menu screen while I made dinner and cleaned up (because it plays the music obviously), pretending that little woodland animals would come hang out while I did it.

  • Nina says:

    Cleaning camp might be the most inspired idea I’ve ever heard.

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