I wish I could define my Messy Home Threshold. Is it the quantity or quality of the piles? Is it measured by the speed of locating a missing item? Is it a weighted numeric value representing my willingness to enter certain rooms?
Nah, it’s mostly laziness. For the big projects I’m a slow burn kind of guy. I’m never one to pick at a project, I usually hit them hard (long after I should have) and don’t stop except to eat or sleep.
This week it’s our office. She and I have been spending less time in there lately. It’s a mess. Our junk drawer seems to have a window AND a door. So I started tearing into it. I’m finding little things my slightly younger self left for me. Some are awesome (hello spare set of Bose headphones!), and some are not (damn you expired gift card!). But by far my favorite finds were photos.
Spread out over 5 or 6 boxes were photos of the four of us, and finding them made my day. She and I started a little young. Dated in college, married in our early twenties, started a family in our mid twenties. We chose to parent early, play later. We’ll see how that plays but so far, so good.
I found pictures of us from our early days, when we’d been married a couple years and had just bought our first house. It was on 43rd Avenue in south Minneapolis. It was small. Small enough that it effectively had no hallways. It had 720 finished square feet. We moved there shortly before our oldest was born because our one bedroom apartment on 8th and 8th near campus was feeling way too small. Two young adults, one large and mentally handicapped cat, and a smaller, oddly peevish cat had filled the place to capacity.
It was great going through those photos, consolidating them, remembering moments. It did make me feel like She did, when She saw one of them. I too wished I had a time machine. My sons were cute babies. They were happy, almost all the time. They had their own ways, their own distinct personalities as small boys. Our oldest would toddle into a room, wave, and say, “Doin’ guys?” He loved being with people. Our youngest would pull every book off the shelves, sit on them and “read”. He was the messiest eater, and once managed to get spaghetti sauce between his shoulder blades, inside his onesie.
But I don’t want to go back. That seems like a trap. Our best days as a family are ahead of us. I’ll always go back to those photos, and it’ll be bittersweet. But more than that I want to see what’s next. I want to go to new places with them. I want the four of us to laugh often. I want to see their world and what they make of it. I want to discuss the topics of the day, and compare restaurant notes. I want to hear about their jobs, and about the places they go. I want to add photos of me pulling their beards to my collection of them with little blue or red blankets.
Enough of that, I’ve got to get back to work on the office. But make no mistake, I’m definitely going to take a few of those photos out of the boxes and hide them about the office. I’ll enjoy that in a few years.