My children are loud, animated, engaged with each other. Their voices tumble over each other, like clothes in the dryer, and shrieks punctuate their conversations, as one says something that sets the other off, but the intermittent shrieks don't slow down their ever-louder play with words. That's what it is--they bounce against each other, their bodies touching, hands reaching out to point, to touch, to connect with one another, as they climb over each other, packing their lunch for tomorrow, the refrigerator door left open as they almost fall into it, looking for just the right thing to eat tomorrow.
Their bookbags are flung here and there, the contents spewing out, and Lily shows me the two warrior books she's reading at the same time, shoes are here, there, and everywhere, and paper and crayons dot the floor.
Laundry baskets filled with neatly-Bobby folded clothes are plopped down in the middle of the living room and dining room and kitchen and who knows where else, the boy's attempt to clean the house never quite reaching fruition. In the morning, we will all wander the house from basket to basket looking for favorite things to wear, ignoring closets full of clothes that just don't feel quite right.
Books have overflown the wall-to-wall bookcases, and are piled on the couch, even neatly arranged as one of the arms of the couch becomes a make-do bookshelf, closest to my chair, in the order I might be most likely to read them, and books pile on top of the neatly lined and up-standing row of books. Books lie stacked on the floor all around my chair, even neatly behind the recliner, where I will never be able to reach without getting up and walking around. Once in place, they are in their home, and I will be hardpressed to find new homes for them in other nests around the house, until the sheer volume of volumes forces a move so the new tomes can lie near me, where I can touch them, see them, feel that I am surrounded by the endless possibilities the texts offer me for escape and edification.
Blankets are piled like the princess and the pea in purple velvet chairs, so that cats can recline in abundant comfort until one of us decides we need just that particular blanket--is it a zebra kind of day or a nice sherpa wool kind of day? Cat hair is a free accessory, and possibly a cat, too.
Stuffed animals sit with science fiction action figures on shelves and vie for people's attention. Occasionally these toys find their way to the floor where they are engaged in play with my little ponies and littlest pet shops. Elaborate pizza and cheesecake parties are held on the bridge of the enterprise, pulled out from under one purple velvet chair and placed on the large orange, brown and yellow sunflower rug that makes anyone in their 40s or older remember the 70s rather vividly.
The house is lived in--abundantly, freely, obsessively lived in. It is a mess, to be true, with its piles of treasures dotting the housescape, but it is at least, even though noisy, even though imperfect, a wonderful world to inhabit (and rest in).