Two weeks have passed since their family of six moved the half mile from their townhouse with a gorgeous wood lined back yard to the new third floor apartment. Money needed to be saved and expenses cut if they ever wanted to claim their goal of being debt free. She walked the twenty feet from her bedroom door to their crowded living room. Passing with each step the signs of their recent change.
Clean laundry piles towards mountainous heights throughout the small hallway. Breakfast dishes, in their multicolored arrays, create a rainbow against the silver linings of the sink while the countertops are filled with dish ware awaiting a home. The harmonies of little voices ranges from melodious laughter with a low lying rhythm of arguments to high pitched yelling littered with calls for mom.
The new apartment is still too new. Order and routine slip through the cracks of unpacking monotony. The space that confines requires a daily escape. The stuff lays untouched with beautiful purpose as they try to focus on the importance of relationships over objects.
Another lesson to add to the daily journal, somewhere down the line we can call that school, she thinks as she jots down the thought in the spiral binder that permanently lives above the waves of stories. She glances at the two youngest in the brood sitting nicely while the older two give “school” lessons in their pajamas.
“The sun is the center of the solar system. We live on a planet that orbits the sun, it’s name is earth.” Her seven year old lectures patronizingly to his three year old sister who is desperately trying to reach the pony he has hidden behind his chair.
“Let’s sing the ABC song, they need to know the abc song” her five year old announces, cutting off big brother in the process.
“I know my abc’s” her three year old retorts indignantly. “My pony needs me, we need to check her heart rate before she endures too much stress!” She starts whining loudly with tears slowly gracing her face at the the thought of being unable to treat her dearest friend.
“Fine, I’m done playing school. You be the witch of winter who is trying to destroy the light in the universe with her blizzard powers. I will be the knight sent by the princess to find the seven elemental swords that can end the darkness. Farewell! I must go on a quest!” Her seven year old began galloping off as he searched the house for the hidden gems.
“Gallop slowly, there are people who live downstairs” she reminded the gallant knight as he left for his journey. Apartment living is only short term she reminded herself for the fourth time that morning.
“Wait, I’m the princess and I am not going to just sit in my castle! If I can find the sword of earth and the horse of earth than I can control every land mass in the universe! I’m coming with you” her five year old demanded as she ran across the living room.
“I want to be the witch! I’m going to surround you in a black hole!”the three year old cackled, instantly forgetting her friend and patient.
She chuckled internally, wondering if her little fireball even knew what a black hole was. The notebook was returned to it’s home and she turned to face the mornings dishes.
“Me read book! Me read book!” The two year old found her chance for unadulterated attention, had created a pile of books on the couch and was now wrapped between her mothers legs urgently asking for story time.
The scene is nothing new. The location had been recently changed, but the events of the day were the same as any other. But she was different. The mess bothered her now. Things needed homes. Laundry needed to be hung up, all of the clothes in the house needed to be unpacked. Books needed to be sorted and organized, at least by genre so they could find what they were looking for.
Their home was always busy, always covered with clutter and messes that proved a family indeed lived within the walls. However, this was completely unorganized, and it stressed her with every glance.
She was not a type A person, she did not need glorious organizational systems and perfectly maintained book shelves, but she did need order and beauty. There needed to be a balance between beauty and chaos. She needed a beautiful chaos.
Toys and books strewn about where lesson waiting to be learned. Crayons, colored pencils and markers visibly laid across the small children’s desk was proof that today’s masterpiece was in the works. Clean laundry on the couch was sign that there would be clothes to find tomorrow. That was all normal and good.
Beauty needed to come from having something hanging delicately up on the walls. Beds that were built and had at least been made once. Toys having shelves or boxes as homes when she called out “clean up time” to the minions.
It was time to restore the beautiful chaos, even if it needed to be relocated to a tiny apartment. But first there is a toddler demanding that Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh and The hungry little caterpillar be read, again, with voices and no thought of skipping pages.