Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Really Important Things

A Family Has a Fun Time Around a Table on Vacation, Fraueninsel, Chiemsee, Bavaria, Germany by Taylor S. Kennedy
A Family Has a Fun Time Around a Table on Vacation, Fraueninsel, Chiemsee, Bavaria, Germany

You can look at my list in the sidebar and see that I got precious little done in my house this week. We picked up our older son from the airport on Monday to stay with us for a week, and after that, it was all downhill. Poor house!

I've enjoyed my time with our boy, though. He left home a year ago this week to attend college, and we haven't seen him much since then. He loves his school, and he's doing everything he can find to do during these school years. Having him home for a whole week is a treat for me.

I learned something several years ago from my mother-in-law while we were visiting her. While we were there, she would make sure the major clutter got picked up, trash thrown away, dishes and laundry washed and put away, but most of the time we were there she visited with us. She sat down at the kitchen table to chit chat every morning, and meals were long and unhurried. We just enjoyed spending time together as a family who only has that luxury about once every 4 years or so - my in-laws are missionaries in Jamaica and only come home every 4 years, unless there's a reason like sickness.

After this particular visit, my husband and I were going to visit my family a few hours away to celebrate my grandmother's 80th birthday. Just an hour or so up the road, our car broke down. My father-in-law came and took us back to their house, where I found something interesting. In the couple of hours we'd been gone, my mother-in-law had transformed the house! All the little piles of blankets and pillows and books were picked up and put away; the kitchen counters were cleared and all the dishes were washed and put away; the newspapers and church bulletins were thrown away; the bathroom was clean and all the wet towels were in the washer. I was mildly shocked that things were so neat!

What I realized from coming back to my in-laws' house unexpectedly was that my mother-in-law had lowered her normal standards of housekeeping while we were there in order to spend as much time as possible with us. Her family was more important than keeping up with the house that week. There was plenty of time after we left to restore the order she was used to.

That's how I feel this week, even though our son isn't taking up much of my time. He is only here for this week. I'm not going to knock myself out to make sure I stick to my normal routine; there will be time to get the house back in order once he goes back to school next week. There are still a few more days of family togetherness - our younger son arrives home today from working in the US this summer. We'll take time out for a few days to enjoy our whole family being together, and then we'll get back to routine.

I hope you're enjoying these last few weeks of summer! Enjoy your family!


Tammy said...

Great lesson to learn! :) I hope you're enjoying the time with your son!

Susan said...

We're having a great time with both boys! It's a bit noisier than we've gotten used to, but that's to be expected with two teen boys in the house. Sam will be gone again in 3 more days, so I'll take the noise and bumps and thumps for a while! ;)