My house is not immaculate. It is not even tidy. I am sure my mother-in-law would not dare call it clean. But, on the weekend, the last thing my family and I want to do is clean the house. We use the weekends to recreate. We boat, fish, camp, hike and adventure in the mountains and waters around Colorado with our two year old son, who will never know what nature deficit disorder is.
On Thursday, I begin to get ready for the weekend…ignoring household chores, prepping food, and using our two duct-taped laundry baskets to collect extreme weather clothes and jackets, hats, extra socks, clean sippy cups, spare “just-in-case” fruit and veggie pouches. This past Thursday, I begged my son to try on innumerable items saved from the end of last winter….hats, mittens, footsie pajamas and Smartwool socks. Once the baskets fill, I lug them out to our Sportsmobile and find homes for everything. All the while ignoring the dust bunnies gathering in each of every corner of our house. “I can get it on Monday. At least the van is tidy.”
Reality sets in on the drive home late Sunday night. I close my eyes and let my husband drive us over two mountain passes and I beg sleep to provide reprieve from the stress closing in. There are numerous dirty piles of clothes and linens on the laundry room floor; the dishwasher is full of dirty dishes..but at least my husband fixed it before we left on Friday. Sorry about those miscellaneous items wedged between the cabinet and dishwasher. I thought I had lost that travel food masher!
My two year old spent 6 hours in the raft yesterday and I caught and released half a dozen trout back into the Arkansas River. He slept in a sleeping bag for the first time and successfully peed and pooped outside numerous times over the weekend. Potty training has a different meaning for everyone in the wilderness, and, for him, it met the joy of peeing off the side of a boat. He practiced mountain biking on the Strider through the dirt roads on Old Monarch Pass. We made up a dozen songs this weekend and bellly-laughed every time we remembered, “Ready, Set, Goat!”
We arrive home 6 hours later than my mind’s hopeful plan. Sleep comes easy. We’ve played hard out there in the wilderness.
On Monday mornings, we “front” the work and school week ahead of us. My son wakes an hour earlier…giving us enough time to spend the first twenty minutes in the dark of his room, snuggling the sleep away and the next twenty minutes soaking in the tub, cleaning the dirt out from our finger and toe nails and scrubbing away the river water from his “toe head” hair.
I am at a stage in my life, where “I need a new bra,” “The kitchen floor really needs to be scrubbed,” and “There is a really cool free event in town this weekend” are not my statements of priority.
Before I sat down to write this, I kissed my husband and told him that I loved him. He doesn’t care that we don’t have a clean house. We would prefer sun-kissed days during these last few weeks of summer before mud season and winter set in.
“The house can wait. I’ll do it in October.”