This is going to sound worldly and pathetic, but I have to admit that I am jealous of my neighbors' houses. Yep I said it, I covet. I do not say this in jest or to be proud of my sin, but I say it because it is an issue I need to resolve. Surveying my home today, it looks like a crime scene. The only two rooms that do not resemble a burglary are the kids' rooms, ironically. I scoured and cleaned them this past weekend (with their help) and they are doing great at keeping them close to perfect.
Their mother's domain however? Oye.
I live in a typical suburban cookie cutter neighborhood. No million dollar homes, but decent sized and fairly new homes. We are really blessed. On our street are a ton of families with children and every morning at 08:30 we watch then board their big yellow bus and get whisked off to school. At 16:00 we watch them dutifully file off. The 7 1/2 hours in between I imagine their mothers are like madwomen cleaning and perfecting the domestic domiciles. I have proof...
Twice I have gotten into random conversations outside with two different neighbors. The conversation usually leads to what paint colors they are waffling between or the like since we do not have a ton in common (I have really nice neighbors but we do not see each other a lot). Once we run out of witty conversation I will say something like, "so, what is the layout of your house compared to mine?" or "is your bedroom in the front or the back of the house?". Anything to keep the conversation from that awkward silence.
Both times both women have said, "Oh, go in and look around!" I was flabbergasted. I have never and will never say those words unless I have
Both houses were picture perfect. Not so much in the way things were decorated or arranged, although they were also nice, but moreover, the floors were clean, there seemed to be no hand prints on the walls and the houses seemed "sunshiny" (you would not have believed me if I said that butterflies and blue jays were sitting on the windowsills singing). Each time I slunk home in shame determined to repaint the entire house that afternoon.
Please do not misunderstand. I am blessed and I know this. Mr. Clean painted every room of the house to my exact specification (except for, ahem... my own room... ahem...) even though he abhors painting; we decorated the house the way we like it and even spent a little bit on a couple pieces of new furniture when we moved in. I like my house when it is clean. I liked it better four years ago when the paint had no fingerprints on it and was not getting chipped on the corners from being run into by various matchbox cars and Barbie Jeeps.
I have decided the only reason I would send my kids to brick and mortar school is to be able to keep up with the Jonses' and have a Home and Gardenesque house (okay, and to eat bon bons at 14:00). That almost seems a little more sinful than say, murder, doesn't it?
I guess I have to live in my reality instead of dreaming of someone else's. I love homeschooling (89.2% of the time) and having my kids learning, growing and changing where I can see it happen. Call me selfish, I just dig my kids (89.2% of the time), but boy will I be thrilled to see them shuffling off to college so I can have shiny floor and eat bon bons.