It's a Friday evening and we've just put Brooklyn down to bed. Dinner is cleaned up and the dishes in the dishwasher and I sit in the quiet of my living room, feet up on the coffee table, a nice glass of Pinot Grigio by my side. The quiet hum of the washing machine behind the laundry room door is broken up by the occasional snap of the jeans in the dryer against the side. The light is dim, only one lamp lit against the encroaching evening. My brown "micro-suede" sofa is comforting, even if it is the "L" shape that I swore to Rob we would never own.
I like my family room. It has a comfortable, lived-in feel to it. Some of you might remember a few years ago when someone commented on my house and called it "Main Street Disneyland, covered in dust." (Those of you who know me well might smile at that statement, as it conjurs up thoughts of my smiling Tiggers everywhere.) At the time the statement was made, I had just finished a major kitchen remodel. (And by "major," I mean that everything was ripped out to the walls and it was completely redone. In fact, I had only moved the dishes and other "furnishings" of the kitchen back in the day before this person saw my home and made the comment. So I would have to say that the "dust" part was at least partially correct. At that time, I also hadn't found a cleaning person that I liked. I had gone through several, but had to let them each go in their own turn, for various reasons. I was in flux and the "soul" of my home was bared to anyone who dared to enter. This person entered and instead of seeing the family that lived there and the toys of a baby scattered around, this person saw dust and Mickey Mouse.
Every once in awhile, I stop to take stock of my surroundings and sometimes wonder if I have the house of an adult. My in-laws certainly have an "adult" house, with their crystal chandelier over the dining room table, the very large, flat screen television and the lack of any evidence of children, but for Brooklyn's play room. Their entryway and living room are decorated in a sophisticated, modern style. Anyone walking into the home would immediately know that adults live there.
My entryway is guarded by several wooden mooses and a bear. Tokens from family trips to Tahoe, one proudly proclaims "go away," while the bear holds a sign that says "I'm not a bear." The sofa table by the wall holds a chess set from a trip to Mexico in granite, a replica of Dodger stadium that lights up and several family photos. The piano in the living room holds Precious Moments figures with Tigger and Pooh and a model of the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. Someone walking into this room might wonder at the decorating taste of the people within.
As I walked down the stairs tonight after putting Brooklyn to bed, I was drawn to the wall in the dining room that is covered with family pictures. A picture of Brooklyn at 3 months takes the center and immediately draws your attention. Many people notice it as soon as they walk in the house. (The wall is also visible as soon as you walk in the door.) I study the pictures, taking in Brooklyn's 1st, 2nd and 3rd birthday photos and the family pictures that went with them, watching us grow. I can't help but wonder how that "person" came into my house and missed this wall, but somehow latched on to the dust and the Disney. Maybe that person was looking for chinks in my armour?
But I digress... as I sink deeper into my couch, I am comfortable with my home. It's a good size, it's right for us. I am lucky and I love what I have. Of course I'd like to put in new carpet. Of course I would like to finally paint the walls one of the sample colors that have been splashed up for at least a year (don't ask.) But at the end of the day, I'm o.k. with a little dust and I'm definitely o.k. with the Disney - the Tiggers and the Mickey (which Brooklyn loves, of course).
I don't know if I have the home of an "adult." But I do believe that I have the home of a family, one that is lived in and full of love, and I'm o.k. with that, even if it is covered in dust.