Thursday, March 25, 2010

Six-Year Plan

Journal for Christa—
Since we’re heading off for Albuquerque in a couple of hours, I pulled out an old journal from 1996. Looking around the house this morning, I don’t think much has really changed; it’s just quieter.

I’m on the six-year plan. I find myself telling that to myself, my husband, and anyone else nosy enough to wonder why the carpets aren’t always vacuumed and things haven’t been dusted around here for awhile. You see, we have four teenagers and in six years they’ll all be off to college.

Six years--- I remember when six years (from birth to first grade) seemed like a mathematical line headed into infinity. But six years now is little more than a baby’s whimper.

Last Sunday I was chatting with one of the young mothers at church. Her fatigue and the reiteration of uncompleted chores brought back memories— old  memories. I remember going to bed feeling guilty every night. No matter how hard I worked, there was always another load of laundry to do. But that was then and now is now, and now I’m on the six-year plan.

In six years I intend to clean the closets really well, organize the files, and put all the pictures in photo albums. In six years we might be able to buy new carpeting and finally get some new furniture for the family room.

In the mean time, we divide up the chores and what gets done gets done and what doesn’t is left for the next week. When the kids all flop down on our bed to talk, I usually push the grading aside. We shuttle people to practices, watch track meets, soccer games, and wrestling matches. We attend every concert. We also withhold supper when the work's not done and yell a lot.

We don’t let kids run around aimlessly, and we’ve accepted being the “meanest parents in the school” and “not understanding teenagers” (though combined, we teach nearly 300 a day). We eat a lot, tease a lot, laugh a lot— and at times we pull together and pray a lot.

Some weeks are tough; some months are tough. We’ve even had a few tough years, but it’s all worth it. Gone are the days of wiping noses and bathing children. However, the laundry still isn’t done, but I never go to bed feeling guilty.

Hope you have a good week! 

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