I have been cleaning our home the past few days. Well, I guess, I always clean our home, but these past three days I have really been giving it a good kick in the butt. And yet…sigh…and yet, it is not pristine. Every surface is not bare, every clean glass is not put away, there is still a pile of laundry to do, still a stack of photos I have been meaning to frame and hang, still the Target bag of black frames in which I have meant to put said photos. You pickin’ up what I’m layin’ down? (No, really. Could you please come over and pick up everything I put down? Thanks.)
Our home, even if we have enough money someday to have a lavish, amazing one, will probably never be part of a photo shoot.
But it is clean and it is (somewhat) organized and most of all, there are signs of love everywhere. Photos of our friends dancing at our wedding, of our babies smiling, of our romantic vacations 8 years ago when my husband had a bleach blond mohawk (eh, more like a fauxhawk, really), photos of extended family touching my bare, preggo belly, drawings and cards from Carlitos to his daddy, my mom’s artwork, my artwork (A rendition of a photo of my husband and I wearing fluorescent green bandanas. Don’t ask.)
Sometimes I get truly jealous when I see shows where the celebrities have children and yet live in a gorgeous, polished, home that oozes design and glamour. I think, “Why do they get to have it all? They get to have a family AND an amazing home? Not fair.” But then I remind myself that, not only do they have a team of people making everything look perfect for the show, they probably have a team of people helping them have a perfect home even when the cameras aren’t rolling. Nannies, baby nurses, cleaning staff, gardeners, maybe even a private chef. Who knows? And the truth is, I am pretty sure that since most of our friends are waiting awhile before starting a family they will probably be in better financial standing and may have some help also. Note to self: I will have to attempt to hide my envy better when faced with it in real life.
But we don’t. So, yes, the guest bed doesn’t really get ‘made up’ again until someone comes to stay again. You could not twirl your arms in our bedroom without hitting a pile of clean, folded laundry ready to be put away…from two weeks ago. Our living room coffee table is not glass, nor shiny wood; it is scratched and it has foam bumpers on the edges so Carlitos only gets two concussions a day and not seven. My husband and I bicker a lot in the first few months of ‘babydom’ because neither one of us is sleeping through the night. Ever. I haven’t had time to go get a pedicure or haircut in months (and months and months), so I am starting to look a bit like a woman who is either Mormon (no offense to Mormons, but I have just noticed a ‘long hair thing’) or really likes horses and when I went to change the color of my toenails last night it took 30 minutes to take off all of the nail polish because I had been just ‘touching it up’ (i.e. painting layer upon layer) since December.
You know what, though? Not to get too cheeseball, but we are really happy and I know the boys can feel it, too. Carlitos is the friendliest, most confident kid I know, which they say comes from living in a happy, loving home. And you couldn’t wipe the grin off of Xavi’s face if you tried. (But why would you? Who would try to wipe a smile off of a baby’s face? You mean-spirited freak.) So, I have to remind myself that even though our home may not look perfect, it is perfect for us. We seem to like to do things the hard way, our way and together.
The other night, at a dinner party (At our home, thank you very much. And there were three courses and a signature cocktail. And I wore a dress with heels. Yes, I did feel like ‘Super Mom/Wife/Friend/Entertainer’.) we were discussing the fact that our friends who are about to get married want to then wait until they get their lives in order before having kids. I said I understood, but added that life is never perfect and there isn’t ever actually a “right and perfect time” to have kids. Or to do anything, for that matter. I brought up how we had a baby while living in a one bedroom in D.C. and then just once one month later, my husband left his job. And shoot, with baby number 2 we had only lived in New York for 5 days before I found out I was pregnant…and not yet employed. She thought about it and said, “Yeah, but you guys are so…romantic like that.”
I had not really thought about it like that, but I think maybe she was right. I have always known my husband is a hard-core romantic (not red roses romantic, more of a ‘our love can conquer anything, oh, and I bought you Set It and Forget It roaster for Valentine’s Day because I know you have wanted one for 15 years’ romantic), but it had never dawned on me that I am probably a bit of a romantic, too. Our love has always been a bit of an Against All Odds kind of love and we have always pushed through. I guess I never realized how greatly that can affect life choices and what your life looks like.
So, I have gained some new perspective on Who We Are. The romantic, we are in this together and can do it all ourselves, nothing is quite perfect but that’s okay, please do a load of laundry while I clean the dishes and then we can leave the rest until tomorrow while we have a martini and watch 30 Rock, I love our sons so much I want to eat their cheeks, thank you for bringing me home an entire Junior’s cheesecake just because, someday we will have a glossy, black coffee table with no marks on it, Always Stay Together couple.
I’ll take it.