Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Line

Last night, we both fell asleep on the couch. Worn out and exhausted, we were both too tired to make the trek upstairs before drifting off to dreamland the first time. Tom passed out before I did, though he really did try to stick it out to the end of the baseball game that was on tv. I was snuggling with a little boy, his sweaty little head nuzzled on my shoulder when I gave in to the heaviness of my eyelids. Though I am not exactly sure how long we were sleeping down here, I enjoyed every second of it. I know my days of having a baby sleeping on my chest are numbered.

At some point, we woke up and headed upstairs. I had AJ, and Tom had to turn off all the lights and lock up the house. He closed the windows, but not the blinds, as I found out this morning. When I came down, the back of the house bright with light from the morning sun, I had to giggle. What I saw was another immediate reminder that I live in a house filled with children. It's only early in the morning, when the sun is just over the horizon that you can see what I saw. The line.

Anyone with little kids will know exactly what I am talking about. With the angle of sun streaming through the windows, it's pretty clear. There is most definitely a line. Above the line, the windows are reasonably clean. Not perfect, but pretty good. Below the line is an entirely different story. Fingerprint, smudges and more - readily apparent only this time in the morning. Clear, obvious signs of the heights of my children. Of just how high they can reach.

In reality, this line exists all through the house. The few areas left with the original paint from the builder show it the most. My walls all show the remnants of kid, limited of course by their reach. My family room wall is the worst, and my repeated attempts at cleaning the wall have done little but start removing the texture. I'm not even sure what is on the wall in some spots. There is a point at which the mess stops and the clean wall above magically appears.

I clean my windows. Really, I do. But no one who has ever been in my house just after sunrise would believe it. That is, unless they remember what it was like to have tiny people living with them. And they remember the futility that is cleaning. The constant nature of the fingerprints. The never ending mission to undo the mess.

It's okay, though. The fingerprints don't bother me. I don't mind having reminders of my kids everywhere. I know they won't be there forever. I know that one day, I won't have to worry about grape jelly being smeared on my windows. I won't cringe when someone runs their hands along the wall on the way to the bathroom to wash up after dinner. Someday, the line will fade. And someday the walls and the windows will stay clean. It's not actually a day I am looking forward to. I like the line.

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