The past few weekends have devoted almost exclusively to Stuff Management, a term that will be familiar to anyone with children (or anyone with stuff, although children seem to cause an inordinate and staggering amount of it to pour into the house). Unpacking, sorting, organizing, discarding, and, oddly, repeating (it's like the stuff packs itself up while I'm not looking.) However, after this weekend I feel like we really, truly have Made It, and the stuff is in its place and will remain so for the time being. The doors are back on, the kids' rooms are in order, the summer clothes have been sorted and put away or given away, the hats and coats have been exhumed and put where we can both access them and put them away. Hooks are up. Curtains are up. It feels possible that we might be able to live uncomplicatedly for a while, or at least as uncomplicatedly as it is possible to live when the cooking activities are being conducted from the garage and half the house is still a barn.
In a lot of ways I like the coziness of our current arrangement. We all eat dinner in our bedroom; we watch movies together here, the kids do homework, and M dispiritedly works away on his laptop. Lately I've been preparing dinner here, too, bringing the vegetables and compost tub and only dashing out to adjust the heat on the hot plate when I absolutely have to. On Saturday night I fixed a salad while some tortellini cooked in garage, and then we ate it while watching Where the Wild Things Are. We do our arguing over money and contractors here, too, and it helps that the files, digital and paper, are all an arm's length away ("How much did that glider cost? Well, let's find out!") Well. It sort of helps. Sometimes it's a little too cozy. Also, I still manage to forget what I was going to do between walking to the computer to go look up the kids' online school lunch account and actually sitting down in front of it with my fingers ready.
We try to get out as much as we can, although that isn't always possible.
This weekend, though, I did get away for a little bit, to attend Jess's baby shower. I kind of love baby showers, even when I don't really know anybody, like at this one. I mean: babies. What's not to love? And it was lovely to meet so many other women, and eat some delicious food, and just generally sit around in someone else's house and not worry about my own, for a while.