This article was originally published in the April 2015 edition of 605 Magazine.
Spring is always that time of year where our winter oppressed bodies comes out of deep hiding and we unabashedly expose our sun-deprived faces to the world in an act of utter jubilee. In addition to the weeping of joy that takes place once winter is over, spring is also a time where many take to the mop, the rags, the bleach, and channel their inner Cinderella servant self and involve themselves in what has become known as their annual spring cleaning.
And then, of course, there are people like me.
Who, at the first scent of spring, run frantically to the windows, throw them open with wild abandon, lay in the sun, and dream of fresh gardens and golden tans. Leaving any conscious thought of being in the house another second after a cruel winter -- let alone cleaning said house -- far behind.
However, this spring is different for our little family. You see, a blessing blew down from heaven itself and we are expecting a baby boy in June. (Insert wild, off-beat, embarrassing, happy dance here.) So, with a pending arrival of another tiny human, I have gone against the grain of my character and decided to try to do a little intensive organization and spring cleaning of my own. Or, as some others may call it, nesting.
We didn’t get the chance to prepare, clean, or nest when our first child came because she made her two-pound debut 10 weeks early. Thus, we were immediately hurled into the throes of parenthood and hospital stays and the very last thing I had time to think about was organizing baby socks, cleaning the carpet, or even putting a nursery together. And while we are praying and hoping this time will be different, we realize there is a chance we could find ourselves there again. So, to alleviate a bit of pressure I used spring as a good excuse to get the house ready in anticipation of our baby boy.
And, what have I learned from this idea of spring cleaning? Well, fellow spring citizens, tidying off any remnant of the harsh winter is no simple affair. I ended up consulting the Google about what sorts of activities are included in a regular spring cleaning and I came upon a list compiled by Martha Stewart entitled “Spring-Cleaning Checklist.” And I’m here to tell you, I’m sorry, but Martha has gone and lost her mind. The checklist is three pages long, small print. THREE pages. And as if that isn’t crazy enough, they list eight steps to achieve perfectly clean windows. Eight steps. And for good measure, they also throw in how to clean all the grout in your house.
I quickly shut my computer after I read that list. First of all, what happened to just wiping your windows down with Windex? And second of all, I’m not entirely confident I can identify what grout even is in my house. Sigh. It is no wonder I have avoided this seasonal cleanse my whole life.
Now to those of you who love this type of extremely thorough house purification, I hope you don’t hear me judging you. Because, well … baby, you’re a firework. I’m jealous that you have that work ethic in you and wish I had it in me to locate grout, scrub it, and wax it until it sparkles. Unfortunately, I just don’t have it in me. So, I have just pretended Martha’s exhaustive three-page list does not exist and I have been focusing my energy on things like sifting through old baby gear and seeing what I can use again, hiring painters to paint the new nursery, and trying to get my three-year-old to understand the change that is brewing in our little house. And now … I’m exhausted.
My spring cleaning list may be small, but I feel enormously accomplished in getting to do any sort of preparation at all this time around. And, as any parent can attest, anything can happen on this wild ride to bringing a human into the world, so while the sun is shining, the baby is kicking, and the carpets are cleaned, I’m just going to soak up the springtime sunshine and leave the intense cleaning for another season (or decade).