This is what I’m doing.
This is me doing it….starting with point number one: The Catholic Home is well-maintained. Hold fire until the end please.
When I was a little girl, my mom worked part-time in a local bookstore. She wasn’t gone much—maybe two nights a week and Saturdays. But oh, my sisters and I hated when she left.
“Don’t go, Mom,” we’d all cry in unison. “Dad’s going to make us cleeeeeeeeen.”
It didn’t work. She left, and before the car pulled out of the driveway, Dad was tossing cans of Pledge into my eight-year-old hands.
Life with my father—a former Navy man—was a life filled with cleaning. There are pictures of my sister Annmarie and I, ages 4 and 7, standing on chairs at the sink washing the dishes. We also scrubbed bathrooms, mopped floors, and dusted furniture well before we reached double digits.
It’s not like we grew up in a museum. We spread Legos on the floor and built forts with blankets. We just had to take care of the messes we made. Or hear about it.
Not surprisingly, as a child, I thought my parents’ predilection for order and cleanliness was a horrible plot devised to torture me. As an adult, however, I couldn’t be more grateful. They taught my sisters and I that having things was a privilege, not a right, and that if we wanted nice things, we had to care for them.
From them, we learned responsibility, discipline, and stewardship. We also enjoyed the peace and security that comes from living in a clean, well-ordered home. That’s a peace we all continue to try to cultivate today in our own homes.
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