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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Window Sill

The window sill above the kitchen sink is a place of honor in our family.

The items on the sill change from time to time, but it is always a place filled with trinkets my children have given me. Right now I have a collection of friendship pins they made- tiny beads on safety pins. I have two pots, beautiful in their imperfections, that Ben and Jonah made in art last year. The pots are filled with acorns we have collected while walking Ollie. I have a card from my dad that says "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. When life hands you a load of crap, don't make anything. Trust me on this one." (I love that card. Every time I look at it I bust into a grin. It's so good to have people who love you and 'get' you and encourage you. And send you cards that make you giggle inside.) I have a lego creation that we'll call "abstract" that Aidan gave me. I have an acorn art project that Ella made at a library class last week hanging from the window latch. And I have a sun catcher that the kids made with me on our last visit to Door County. 
Part of me is LONGING for a home filled with rooms like you see in the Pottery Barn catalog- classy, put together, an oasis, a retreat. I realize I would have to win the lottery big time to afford the actual Pottery Barn paraphenilia, but I just wish for simplicity and peace, not necessarily the actual products from PB. 

Sometimes I wish my cupboards were shiny and stark in their simplicity, instead of covered with my children's sweet art work and school lunch menus. I wish I could see the surface of my fridge instead of having it covered with magnets from the dentist, animals for Ella to line up when she's waiting for dinner, and middle school schedules. I wish my dining room table was used for entertaining instead of homework, with its stacks of textbooks and pencils strewn across it. I wish my banisters were used for nothing- instead of being coat and backpack holders.

Then I remember how I feel these sweet years of having small children are sifting through my fingers like beach sand. The day will come when my kids are no longer making art work they want to display on the cupboards, or bringing home spelling tests they are proud to put on the fridge, or math tests that have a smiley face on them to stick on the pantry door to remind them how awesome they did. 

So I will keep peeling the tape off my kitchen surfaces. I will keep lifting the charming, kid-given clutter on my kitchen window sill when I dust. Because when I look out my kitchen window while I do dishes, I'm reminded of each of my little ones. When I get milk out of the fridge I smile at the picture of Ben and Jonah on their last day of preschool at our old house. 

Our house may not be a Pottery Barn house, but it is filled with love and memories. It may be cluttered most of the time, but every piece of paper that decorates my kitchen reminds me how far we have come in the last 11 years. Even if the spelling test that is taped in a place of honor to the cupboard earned a grade of D, we are proud. Proud of the kids' accomplishments, proud of how hard they work, proud they're doing their best, proud of who they each are.

I have it all planned out. When all my children are out of the house (I know, like that'll ever happen.), I will redo everything and make it a Pottery Barn house on a Target budget. When I walk into a room I will breathe in the peace and tranquility. Everything will have a place, everything will look like it goes together, everything will be calm.

 Then I will have my grandkids over and make them paint me pictures to hang all over my cupboards because I know I'm going to miss this time more than anything ever. 

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