One last night week, I had a decision to make. It was 8:10pm, and time for our put-away-toys/pick-up-the-house routine before heading up for baths and bedtime in the Gorman household. We were already 10 minutes behind schedule, but usually we can make that up somewhere along the way. However, given the state of the house (eek!), we were in for a chore. My choice was this: take the 20+ minutes to clean up, getting Johnny and the girls to help, and put them to bed later than planned, or forget the clean up and just get the girls to bed on-time. What's a mom to do? I can tell you what a mom with joint pain decides to do. With dinner dishes staring me in the face, the girls' toys strewn across the floor, a pile of 1/2 opened mail on the kitchen counter, and various other projects piled around needing a quick cleanup, I opted for an on-time bedtime. I figured getting the girls to bed at a decent hour would enable me to get to bed at a good time, and one night of mess wouldn't kill me. No one was coming over early the next morning, and I knew I'd have plenty of time to leisurely tackle the remains of our end-of-day madness. I was sure my joints would thank me the next morning.
So up the stairs the girls and I went, leaving the mess behind us. The girls hopped in the bath, I settled in to help with shampoo, and Johnny kindly started in on the dishes. And then, there was a knock at the door. I heard Johnny answer it, and it was our good friend in the neighborhood, taking Johnny up on his offer earlier in the day to get a tour of the house. Aggghhhhh!!!!
I couldn't believe that this was even happening - first, that Johnny had forgotten to mention that there was an invitation out there for someone to come by the house today , and two, that of all the nights in the whole world, tonight had been the one when I'd opted to leave the mess of all messes unattended. Can I tell you how embarrassed I was? Can you imagine the fire in my cheeks as I sat there, washcloths in hand, knowing that downstairs, my neighbor was seeing our "new" house for the very first time with it looking the way it did?
As I tried to remain calm, I heard Johnny explain that when he'd mentioned earlier in the day that she should come by, the house had been spotless (which was true.) And he, of course, apologized profusely for the mess, and she said her house looked the same, and that everything looked fabulous. Blah, blah, blah. Johnny continued the tour as the girls and I finished up the bath, and as they climbed the stairs to see the upstairs (which was in equal disarray), I apologized again. She just showered us with compliments, which was kind of her, and we promised to have her over again, on a "mess-free" evening.
As I was kissing the girls good night, I heard Johnny walk our neighbor out the front door. He came up the stairs, and we just looked at each other. And then we smiled. We smiled because we, the neat nicks on the block, had just been caught with our pants down. We smiled because the tour was over, and despite the fact that our messy house had just been exposed, everyone had survived. We smiled because at 9pm, the girls were in bed, and we had the evening to ourselves. We smiled because, in the end, I believe we'd chosen wisely. Sure, our pride had taken a hit, but I just chalked it up to another sacrifice made in the name of lupus. That joint pain I mentioned? It's been hanging around for over two weeks now. Two weeks too long. I'm waiting patiently until it subsides (more on that on Wednesday), but at this point, every little decision counts. Johnny and I agreed that by letting that mess go, taking our visitor in stride, and getting to bed on time, I'm doing everything I can to make that joint pain disappear. And I assure you, my efforts are working!