December 5, 2010

Babies don't last but dishes...and laundry do

I loved having little ones around the house. I loved getting on my hands and knees and playing games with them. I loved when they played outside and came in covered in dirt. (I always believe a dirty child just means they've had some great fun) I loved singing silly songs with them wherever we the the car....walking down the street.

What I didn't enjoy was doing housework. Trying to keep up with laundry, clean walls and windows or even with what is in the back of the fridge. Never was any good at it.

I remembered a saying that was on the wall of our house while I was growing up and it fit perfectly. "My house is clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy". It is what I lived by. If anyone came over to see my house they would be sorely disappointed but if they came to visit me then they'd leave feeling loved and lighter, having laughed much.

This brings me to one of my favourite poems. It is by Ruth Hamilton and I have loved it since I was young. The title suggests it's for a mother with a good number of children but I think a mother with even one child can appreciate the sentiments.

Song for a Fifth Child

    by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Mother, oh Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing and butter the bread,
Sew on a button and make up a bed.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking. Oh, I’ve grown shiftless as Little Boy Blue
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
(Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo).
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo.
Look! Aren’t her eyes the most wonderful hue?
(Lullaby, rockaby, lullaby loo).
The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.