Three reasons to smile

1.  Thanks to all of you fabulous readers who weighed in with your house-cleaning tips last week.  You have given me much food for thought.  And since I’m promised to give you updates on how things are going, I’m happy to report that Operation Family Clean got off to a roaring start last Saturday morning.

After a suitable period of relaxing over breakfast, coffee, and episodes of “Curious George,” Scott and I announced to the boys that we were all going to pitch in and clean house!  And it was going to be fun!   Apparently we stink as motivational speakers,  because Luke regarded us solemnly and then proceeded to keep doing exactly what he was doing.  We let it slide.  (You get away with so much when you’re three.)

Matthew, happily, had a little bit more intrinsic motivation, namely the fact that his best preschool buddy was coming over to our house for dinner for the very first time.   He did a respectable job of cleaning his room, stowing things into bins under the train table.  So what if the Matchbox cars got all mixed up with the Thomas engines and the puzzle pieces?  There is a time to get hung up on the details, and a time to be grateful that you can, at long last, see the floor again.

Scott and I were the real stars, scrubbing and vaccuuming and dusting and finally getting around to moving old unused baby gates out to the garage. It was like the “Whistle While You Work” scene in Snow White, minus the dwarves and the woodland animals.  And the house looked great afterwards.  Overall, it was very, very nice to have a helper in my housecleaning endeavors.  It removed my put-upon martyr-Mom feelings and gave me a chummy sense of camraderie with Scott.

The downside?  I got zero grading done that day.   I guess something always has to give.

But at least the floors are clean!

2.  Yesterday, I was honored (and totally stoked) to find out that my article Between the Covers: On Loving Books in a Digital Age was chosen by the BustedHalo editors as one of the Best of 2011.   (I guess I’m not the only one who prefers to read on good old-fashioned paper pages!)     At any rate, it’s a piece that is very close to my heart, so this means a lot.

3.  Bad news: someone stole the Baby Jesus out of the manger at our parish. Good news: it inspired a fabulous homily from our pastor yesterday, who took us on his own journey from anger to reflection.  He finished with the great insight that God is something we don’t have to steal.  God is freely given, always, to all of us.

That’s a very nice thought for a Monday morning, isn’t it?

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