The two older girls are gone tonight with Craig to attend his school’s Shakespeare in a Week performance. I decided to take advantage of this opportunity and clean shovel out their room for them. Now really, they had cleaned up today and it wasn’t too bad…except for the parts that were. And I could see things creeping out from under their beds and had a pretty good idea that that job wasn’t going to be very fun.
I got down on my knees and began pulling things out. I pulled and pulled and pulled. I reached and reached and reached. I finally got the broom and swept and swept and swept.
So. The underneath of the beds are all nice and clutter-free now. The floor however…
Egads! What a mess. While I was sweeping this stuff out, I was just thinking about the amount of pure trash mixed in with the salvageable stuff even mixed in with the treasured stuff. I was thinking about how I didn’t really blame the girls for shoving it all under their beds. Stuff like that is just easier to deal with if you stuff it somewhere and forget about it.
Craig and I have been taking advantage of free marriage counseling provided by last-year counseling students here at the seminary. Let me just tell you: I’ve got a lot of junk under my bed. I’ve got some salvageable stuff, too, and maybe even some treasures, but I’ve got a lot of junk. A lot.
Pulling has helped a little; reaching has helped a little, too. But there’s nothing like the broom for really sweeping that stuff out. And man, what a mess it makes when someone finally does. And it’s a bittersweet thing because – whew! – what a relief to finally get that mess out of there. But now? Now you’ve got to deal with it, because it’s visible and it’s something you can’t just ignore anymore because it’s right there in the middle of the floor.
My style is more of the stuff-and-ignore variety, and I hate dealing with the reality of it.
But I know that’s not helpful to anyone – not to me, not to the counselor, not to Craig – just like leaving that pile in the girls room isn’t going to serve them one iota when they get home in an hour.
Dealing with stuff is hard. It just is. But it’s necessary. And counseling can help if you have trouble reaching under your bed with your own broom. Maybe it’s time to get someone else to do the sweeping for a while.
It’s okay to do that. Really. It is.
Now here’s the broom. Start sweeping.