As children came into my life the artifacts left behind after a good time changed. Half consumed juice boxes or snack bags, a diaper in a corner that they'd taken off all by themselves, crumbs that somehow the dogs had missed, crayon or marker scribbles on the wall or table...all delicious. Even after I got over the initial intense pain of stepping on a Lego barefooted, I'd love thinking of the creations they'd made the day before.
When my children were in elementary school items belonging to friends were always left behind, popcorn kernels littered the floor, game controllers with tangled wires strewn across the floor...the floor that was practically covered, wall to wall, with clean and dirty clothes. Skateboards and helmets in the living room and clothing discarded one at a time marking the path from the door to their bedroom. OK, I admit that I began to not feel as much bliss and satisfaction recalling their activities through this stage. My expectations had increased and I was becoming ready to pass the picking-up torch on to
Now that they're both teenagers the only cleaning of their messes I do is their laundry...well, that and a little crumb pick up in the morning that evidences their late night snack fests. They're growing boys I'll have you know. I make some discoveries while sorting and cleaning their clothes. I do smile when I find the detention slip in their pocket that they failed to mention, the marbles I'm still so glad that one of them still loves to look at, and the clear evidence on their shirts of still being little guys that use their clothing as a napkin.
With the addition of our puppy, Hazel, I feel like we're starting over in the artifact department, very happily so. Most mornings when I get up there's a collection of underwear (not mine yet, thankfully) and socks (yes, mine are there, too) on Hazel's bed. She will have also gathered the towel that hangs from our oven door and any cloth napkins that have been thrown on the laundry room floor. I think she wants to gather us (or at least our scents) close to her and snuggle in. Note: no clothing or towels have been harmed as a result of her hoarding tendencies. I feel only love for her as I gather these things each day. We even love the little dust bunnies, mainly composed of Hazel puppy fur, we find in the corners of our house and under furniture. We affectionately call them "Hazel bunnies".
It's good stuff, these artifacts. Little reminders of the time we're in...right now.
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