Before I became a mom, I was a very clean person. I mean I enjoyed all the frills of being a girl. Nails – check, hair – check, outfit perfect – check, even changing purses out weekly. Then entered a new era. One that when I did spend the time to get gussied up I was told amazing compliments. “WOW where are you going today? Are you heading back to work or an interview? What got into you today?” (just a sampling)
Not to say that I don’t try to look more pulled together these days but sometimes I am truly the last one in the bathroom in the morning trying to put a few well placed curls in my longer hair. Or some mornings I just go. If you are around my town you have seen me “a la natural”. It is fast. I promise my hair is brushed and my clothes are clean. But I am not in make up and I haven’t taken the time to really get gussied up to run to preschool, the grocer, or other little tasks.
Now that my kids are getting older I am enjoying shopping since they don’t come with me anymore. If you have kids you know how much fun 15 minutes in your section of clothing in Kohl’s is with 1+ children in tow. I used to get one shirt in 3 colors so I could have “variety”. HA! But times are changing and they are more independent which should allow me to get up and curl my locks and apply some make up. It might happen but I have learned that I am ok either way.
I do think that motherhood also rolled in a new way of thinking about germs, stickiness and cleanliness. I became aware that no matter how much you Purell, protect or prevent, my child was going to catch the “bubonic plague”. I relaxed and now I even tease that they should just go ahead and lick each other to get the germs through the house faster. (we don’t actually do this… yet) All the dirtiness that comes along with children and young families got me thinking about the old adage, Cleanliness is next to Godliness. This makes me laugh! I know that I never felt closer to God then when I became a mother and was living in awe and wonderment of His plan, His creation and the instrumental part He has ordained me to be part of.
Our life as a family of 5 are what I like to call “lived in”. We are orderly to a point, we are clean to a point, and we don’t live like hoarders. (unless you look at our storage room where I have been just throwing things in over summer… yikes) I want to spend time with my kids now, laughing, chasing in the backyard, being creative and goofy, consoling them with their hurts, fears and actual boo boos, time reading, and listening to them. Cleanliness will come someday. But for now we will live loved and express that to our family, our extended family and our friends.
Where did this post come from you might wonder… Well, here is the conversation that went down last night:
“Mom, how cool you have a new freckle on your arm!” exclaimed Kaylee.
“Do I? Where?” said I.
“Right there.” she says pointing.
I looked closely and started to laugh. She was puzzled!
“Well Mom, is that a new freckle? Can I kiss it for you?” (we kiss all new freckles on the kids, like my Mom did to me growing up)
I kept laughing and replied. “Nope that is just chocolate pudding!” (Guess Rhett got me!)
Background for the curious on the history behind Cleanliness is next to Godliness:
CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS – “This ancient proverb is said by some to have come from ancient Hebrew writings. However, its first appearance in English – though in slightly altered form – seems to be in the writings of Francis Bacon. In his ‘Advancement of Learning’ (1605) he wrote: ‘Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.’ Near two centuries later John Wesley in one of his sermons (1791) indicated that the proverb was already well-known in the form we use today. Wrote Wesley: ‘Slovenliness is no part of religion.’Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness.'”
From “Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins” by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988). There are a couple more details in “Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings” (1996) by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996): “.According to the fourteenth edition of ‘Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,’ it is an old Hebrew proverb used in the late 2nd century by Rabbi Phinehas ben-Yair. First attested in the United States in the ‘Monthly Anthology and Boston Review’ (1806). The proverb is found in varying forms.”