Gramps and I have two children. They are grown now, but when they were little they were like all children – busy, playful, active, dirty, forgetful, in a hurry, curious, experimental, fun, life-loving. You know, all the things that make for a wonderful life and a big fat MESS. Children are great fun but they are definitely not clean and tidy creatures.
Every little hand and finger leaves a print on a door or wall. Every foot (in or out of a shoe) plants a mark on a floor. Every meal has telltale remnants. Every activity leaves its own version of a shadow, whether by broken leftover parts or unexpected outcomes or a layer of dusty dirt on every surface or piles of clothing everywhere but the closet. Basically life with kids is messy!
During those early years, I loved having young ones, even with all the cleaning and scrubbing involved. It was always worth it! But every once in a while, after an especially hard day, after one too many spilled glasses of milk, after yet another mud fight while in church clothes, or after again chasing a wet dirty dog around the house, I would think to myself how nice it was going to be when those two little pigpens grew up and we would have a sparkling house all to ourselves.
I had such visions of being able to clean my house and it would stay clean all week. Then I would tidy up a bit just to keep things neat but it would still be basically clean. I was positive the source of all messiness and filth was the children, my lovelies, my sweeties, my little piggies. Once they were no longer living in the house, the mess, dirt and general disorder would go with them. I knew this to be true! I had proof!
So the years passed – grand, fun, lovely years! The two kids grew, went to school, got jobs, one joined the Army and finally, I looked around and saw no children in my house! Anywhere! This was it!
That promised time had come! I gave my house a scrubbing top to bottom, inside and out. Closets were purged, piles put away, leftovers stored. The place sparkled like a new gem. I was giddy! I was thrilled! I was living in a showcase home! Life was good!
Then slowly I began to see small signs of child like activities occurring in my home. Little things at first – a small hand smudge on a door, a shoe mark on a floor, crumbs after a meal, a few pieces of clothing strewn here and there. No big problem. I was able to handle it, but how was it happening? We’re little kids coming in at night to mess up my pristine abode while I wasn’t looking? I wasn’t sure. But I was pretty sure it wasn’t us, Gramps and me. We were surely neat, tidy and clean. Not even a Boy Scout could find fault with our home management practices.
In time, things got worse. Walls and doors were so dirty, they required actual major scrubbing – often. Floors and carpets almost never looked fresh or shiny anymore. Piles became a daily part of living and dust was as common as, well . . . . . dirt!
What the heck had happened? Gramps and I were alone in our nicely cleaned and manicured house but the dirt, the mess, the piles, they were everywhere! There was no stopping the decline of our house into filth. We decided we would have to continue the cleaning routine we used when the kids were home.
It seems Gramps and I had come to the same conclusion at the same time and have seen nothing since to change our minds. We knew what was happening then and are even more convinced now. It may be embarrassing. It may be shameful. It may be hard to believe, but trust me, it is so true! WE ARE THE PIGS!!!!!