Monday, April 20, 2009

Small Things

I spent much of Easter break involved with small things.

Small school assignments: small book reports, small research reports, baby steps towards the completion of three science fair projects.

Small yard projects: small leaves to be raked out from the borders, small leaves to be dredged out of the pool cover, multiple small balls to be also plucked out from the same, small flowers to be planted, small insects to be dealt with.

And small things to be sorted: marbles, doll shoes, beads, puzzle pieces, legos, cabin logs. This last project is one that has been in the making for several years. While homeschooling, it was impossible to keep all of these things in order. Thinking that all girls love to organize things (because I did when I was little), I containerized the clutter, thinking that when they were six or seven they would love to sort all the objects. This never happened. What did happen is that my children learned my habit of containerizing clutter. The result is an uncountable number of containers of unsorted small objects throughout the house.

Many mothers will throw out games that are missing parts. When sweeping, they will throw out beads, game pieces, and other small objects along with the dirt. You might think I’m a glutton for punishment, but I believe I am showing my optimistic spirit when I pick up these small pieces, believing that one day I will get them together with their partners.

If you are shaking your head in disbelief, you do not know the joy I found when attacking my second large bin of clutter in one week and finally putting together all the pieces of a Winnie the Pooh matching game! And with what happiness my toddler is now carrying around a small collection of hearts (“t-tines”, her word for Valentines) and flowers in her pocket. Finally, my eleven-year-old, who recently found a love of small containers for the purpose of keeping like-with-like small objects, has her small baseball beads and gemstone collection back. And my son has more legos and cabin logs with which to build. I also painstakingly matched up dozens of pairs of baby socks, who had been separated for many months from their twins, and brought smiles to the faces of the ladies at the local Birth Right center.

If you walked into my house you would not know how many hours were spent in these small details. It does not look any cleaner (except that I just steam-cleaned the living rug after the dog threw up her lamb chops) or more organized. If you open up my closets, you will see that I have a huge amount of stuff yet to go through. I will, bit by bit, and with love.

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”
Mother Teresa

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