Tonight at about 10 pm I had to nip out to the van to grab something. Across the driveway I heard the strains of Saint-Saens’ “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso” being practiced on the violin. Erin was hard at work in her cabin. And look what I saw outside the cabin: part of the bed frame that we bought for her when she was two years old. It had finally fallen apart, but she had done nothing about it, just leaving it in her jumble of a den of cobwebs, dust bunnies, outgrown clothes strewn on the floor, books read long ago, abandoned glasses of iced tea, English assignments long past.

But today the laundry room is humming, there are bins of recovered books appearing in the living room, and the broken bed frame has been removed. The vacuum cleaner, which I emptied before I went to Nelson this afternoon, is again chock full of enough cobwebs to stop a life-threatening hemorrhage. Erin, it appears, is cleaning her room!


4 thoughts on “Housecleaning

  • October 7, 2010 at 6:29 am

    What a year of growing pains, growing up, and venturing out, each in their own way! Love it.

  • October 7, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Do you leave the girls' rooms entirely in their hands? Or do you enforce periodic cleanings (for health reasons, or just learning to be tidy)? Curious about your philosophy on this front!

  • October 7, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Hi Emily. I leave it up to them, though if they feel overwhelmed I will help them if they want. We have the rest of the house in which to “learn to be tidy,” so I don't see a need to impose my standards on their private space in order to teach that. There is no food allowed in the bedroom part of the house — not that it's a rule, just kind of how we do things; the bedrooms are so small no one really chooses to “hang out” in their bedroom. No one here has asthma or allergies so I don't think there are really any health concerns. Dust and clutter aren't fatal.

    Erin's cabin is a bit of an exception: it's a bit bigger, and more removed from the house, and she does sometimes spend “awake time” there. But when she moved out there we all agreed that it would be her space. Its state does not impact anyone but her since it is separate from the house, and she was willing to take responsibility for that. So be it.

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