When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A girl can dream...

Every fall, once the craziness of the first few weeks of school passes and things start to settle down in my brain, I find myself inspired to change the way things look in our home.  The cooler weather and rich autumn hues in the trees outdoors make me feel like adding warmth through colours and fabrics and cozy details in our inside spaces as well, and I find myself excitedly poring over the pages of home decor magazines and websites for ideas I can use to this end.  

This past weekend, Matt and I shared a lovely little getaway, just the two of us, in the Niagara region.  We did some sightseeing, stayed in a luxurious hotel, enjoyed a fantastic grown-up dinner out with my aunt Christina and her husband James, and did a bit of shopping in the States (which is so very enjoyable when there are no children present to complain about how bored they are!).  I came out of the mall with an armload of catalogues from one of my favourite home decor stores and spent most of the drive home yesterday absorbing the beautiful rooms pictured on the glossy pages and figuring out how I could recreate some of the looks in our home. By the time we pulled into the driveway, I had all kinds of visions and mental shopping lists and plans to apply, and was convinced that in no time, our house, too, would look like it was worthy of being on the pages of a current magazine.

It must have been the fact that I had been away from my children for 24 hours that allowed me to have such lofty (you might even say ridiculous) ambitions. Somehow I had completely blocked out the very real vision of what living with two boys looks like (and the knowledge that those pristine catalogue pictures are of staged rooms that are perpetually undisturbed by the "living" that boys like to do.) In the 24 hours since I've been back home, I've come across dozens of scenes that are the exact opposite of what I had envisioned. Instead of neatly lined rows of attractive baskets, perfectly stacked books, cozily placed throws, and decorative pillows with just the right dimple pressed into them, I've discovered dented storage boxes with lids half off, newspapers separated page by page and scattered all over three rooms, throws balled up into non-descript wads and abandoned in a heap, and all the decorative pillows in the house piled into one giant mountain to provide a suitable landing spot for the jumping portion of an obstacle course. Rather than seeing bedroom doors open at an inviting angle, revealing serene places for relaxation at the end of the day, I've been faced with doors that have long, mangled strings attached to them (Noah rigged up a system for opening and closing his door from the comfort of his bed) and that open up onto rooms that look like a herd of buffalo just trampled through them. Never in a decorating magazine have I noticed dirty socks left on stairs or yesterday's clothes stuffed behind the bathroom door (both Will's doing), or Lego robotics parts strewn across a coffee table and then forgotten, or hallways littered with homemade cardboard swords fashioned from wrapping paper rolls and hockey tape, but I saw all of these things and more at our house in the past day. 

I've crashed back down to Earth now, and have realized that while I can try all I want to have a home that looks like something out of Pottery Barn, the reality of day-to-day life with boys will always look a little more like just Barn.  Luckily, I've always had a real soft spot for cute looking animals.


  1. Oh my. I'm glad I'm not the only one who does this. The ideal is so often so different than the reality, isn't it?

    Someday, though, I know we will long for the pillows on the floor, the cluttered spaces filled with kids things, and all the "extras" that come with children.

    How fun that you got to get away. Good for you!!

  2. You'd think I would know better by now than to attempt to have a perfect house! ;) You're right -- some day, when the house is too quiet, we will wish for a little more of this kind of chaos. A perfect house is overrated, anyway -- where's the fun in that?