An Embarrassment of Riches

They are all very loud, standing on the outside edge of the window sill, just behind this couch I sit in. There are bird sounds and many characters acting out voices and I wonder if today is another failure.

Should I be letting them just run wild now, at 2:42pm with the school day so incomplete. (Why does it feel that way even as I remind myself that 2 out of 3 actually finished workbooks that were supposed to last until Christmas today?)

The living room is tidy, finally. Well almost. It’s an improvement a least, even though the vintage NordicTrack with it’s wood and it’s leather still sits awkwardly, juxtaposed against the brick and white molding on the fireplace. I loved it, but we really don’t have the room for it and so it must go. Maybe if I post it on Craigslist someone will come and take it away for free.

How did this house get so full of of so much stuff? I’m overwhelmed by it all and that was before I stood on a chair and took down the bins full of fabric for making gifts and costumes. I could probably just give away all the clothes in the overflowing laundry basket that I still have yet to fold. We haven’t missed anything in it for the past month. I don’t even remember what’s there. Probably a sign that we have too much and it’s time to give it away.

He comes home in 2 days and I’m embarrassed by the excess, so much stuff that I can’t figure out how to put it away.

A year ago this place felt big,  roomy even. We filled it up pretty fast. Now my office feels too small and cramped, and why do I still have 2 computers in here? Do I need them both? Will I really have volunteers and kids working on school at the same time here every morning. Is this my new normal?

We could get rid of more books.

That just makes me sad to think of it. They are good books.

Just the other day the Boy pulled Bullfinch’s Illustrated Mythologies off of the shelf and the children have been glued to them. Now he has pictures to put to the life of Theseus he’s been struggling through in Plutarch for the past year.

What about art supplies?

The girl’s sketch of a koala bear as Little stares over her shoulder and says, “That’s really beautiful”, tell me no. Those are useful too.

The game carries on behind me. The rocking chair with the flowers Beema painted on it for the girl sits at the little table with a striped tablecloth. The toys are having a feast, according to my 4 year old. No, the books must stay.

I would happily get rid of more toys and the stuff they keep making and needing a place to display… well, some of it.

Aaron called on Skype this morning from Sean’s house in Chiang Mai. The kids at the orphanage have toys too. They caught cicadas and pulled the wings off so they could play with them. He left them an extra $500 to top up the emergency fund. The director has been saving the tiny bit of money we are sending to pay his living expenses and using it to buy kids shoes and take them to the doctor.

I am embarrassed by our abundance. I must finish sorting the closets until we only have as many clothes as actually fit in there. Then I will start on the office and the pile that needs folding.

We will fit into this house again, somehow. I’ve been dreaming of bigger. I’ve been looking at real estate listings thinking of the Boy who is so big and getting bigger. He’ll need a room of is own one day, I’ll still need an office. But right now we need to fit.

How do they fit 15 boys into one single room?

It’s an embarrassment, all of this. A house full of stuff and they are out front playing in the grass with some toys they bought at the dollar store.

all content © Carrien Blue

6 thoughts on “An Embarrassment of Riches

  1. I feel this same way. So much stuff. No matter how hard I try. And I look around and wince in this same way.

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  2. We have decided our belongings are breeding while we sleep. It's the only answer I can find that explains why no matter where we look there is just too much stuff. And it embarasses me too–not because anyone sees it and judges me, but because there are so many who live with so little and I feel greedy. I must find some friends to swap child care with, so we can all clean our closets out.

  3. If only you lived closer. I would swap with you. Though what I really need is someone to come hang out while I do it and make entertaining conversation while I fold and sort things. It does wonders for my motivation to have a friend around. 🙂

  4. Yes!! and the friend should have children for yours to play with, because other kids are just soooo much more fun than siblings! 🙂

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