When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me.
Ok, forget for a moment that I am 27 years old, have two kids, and should be living on my own. My experience here sounds somewhat like that of a teenager, so bear with me.
Our house is full. I live here with my parents, my two kids, and my younger sister. Through the months, the house has slowly gotten out of hand in the cleanliness department. When three households try to fit under one roof with all their stuff, this is what happens. Double, if one of these households includes two young children and one less than perfectionist mom. I admit it, I am not Susie Homemaker. I can tidy up, but there are times when the mess is right in front of me and I just don’t see it. But still, I really make an effort to do my share in the household. And while there may be various pieces of children’s artwork or toys lying around, I do my best to keep all clothing and shoes in my room, and the dishes and dining area clean.
So last night when my mom came in the room with a beef about the less than clean kitchen after dinner, I was offended. It wasn’t my night to do dishes, it was my sisters. And my sister cleaned almost all the dishes and left the sinks and stove gross with food. And as my mom yelled about the mess, I was the one she was looking at. I pointed out that I was not the one to be looking at, and still she went off on how I do not do my part around the house. I was pissed. When I am in the kitchen and waiting for water to boil, etc, I will wipe down counters, put dishes away, wash out recycling. I stack the newspapers, return other family members’ shoes to their rooms, anything I can do to cut corners for serious cleaning times. My sister is lazy, and does not do anything extra. I have learned to get her to do something I have to spell it out for her. Otherwise, it just doesn’t occur to her. But she will do things when asked, so that’s how I deal with it. I had seen the kitchen after she “cleaned” it, and in my self-righteousness, I ignored the mess knowing it was on her, not me. I know, I know.
But last night I was really mad about it. When I went to bed later, I prayed about it and felt better. I knew that no matter how I felt about the fairness of being yelled at, the truth was I could always do more. I needed to remember whose house I was in, and the burden it was putting on my mom. And I needed to admit that I didn’t do nearly enough for all I was being given, or even in general. A lot of mess did belong to me and the kids, and I needed to just suck it up and do more to redeem that.
But when I woke up this morning, the fury returned ten fold. It got to the point that I felt I needed to see my mom after I got the kids off to school and give her a piece of my mind. I got more mad as I unloaded the dish rack again and wiped down the sink, feeling that she would never even see my efforts or acknowledge them. But something happened as I was just about to walk out the door to walk my daughter to the bus-stop. My sister started to do the dishes I had soaking in the sink without being asked. Suddenly I felt really sheepish. All the realizations I had the night before came flooding back at me.
When I came back in the house, my mom was sitting at the table reading the paper. I realized how close I came to being just plain stupid and ruining the day for both of us. She was able to go off to school without me being a complete ass to her, and I was once again able to remember that I was privileged to be living here with my family, that I had a lot to be thankful for, and I couldn’t possible pay back all the graces bestowed on me. And that I could always do more….
Lord, thank you for my reality check. I had forgotten how blessed I was for the moment, and you saved me from being ungrateful. I am blessed, even when I’m undeserving, and I must never forget it.