Someday when the kids are grown, things are going to be a lot different. The garage won't be full of bicycles, electric train tracks on plywood, sawhorses surrounded by chunks of two-by-fours, nails, a hammer and a saw, unfinished "experimental projects," and the rabbit cage. I'll be able to park both cars neatly in just the right places, and never again stumble over skateboards, a pile of papers (saved for the school fund drive), or the bag of rabbit food . . . now split and spilled.
Someday when the kids are grown, the kitchen will be incredibly neat. The sink will be free of sticky dishes, the garbage disposal won't get choked on rubber bands or paper cups, the refrigerator won't be clogged with nine bottles of milk, and we won't lose the tops to jelly jars, catcup bottles, the peanut butter, the margarine, or the mustard. The water jar won't be put back empty, the ice trays won't be left out overnight, the blender won't stand for six hours covered with the remains of a midnight malt, and the honey will stay inside the container.
Someday when the kids are grown, my lovely wife will actually have time to get dressed leisurely. A long, hot bath (without three panic interruptions), time to do her nails (even toenails if she pleases!) without answering a dozen questions and reviewing spelling words, having had her hair done that afternoon without trying to squeeze it in between racing a sick dog to the vet and a trip to the orthodondist with a kid in a bad mood because she lost her headgear.
Someday when the kids are grown, the instrument called a "telephone" will actually be available. It won't look like it is growning from a teenager's ear. It will simply hang there . . . silently and amazingly available! It will be free of lipstick, human saliva, mayonnaise, corn chip crumbs, and toothpicks stuck in those little holes.
Someday when the kids are grown, I'll be able to see through the car windows. Fingerprints, tongue licks, sneaker footprints and dog tracks (nobody knows how) will be conspicuous by their absence. The back seat won't be a disaster area, we won't sit on jacks or crayons anymore, the tank will not always be somewhere between empty and fumes, and (glory to God!) I won't hage to clean up dog messes another time.
Someday when the kids are grown, we will return to normal conversations. You know, just plain American talk. "Gross" won't puncutate every sentence seven times. "Yuk!" will not be heard. "Hurry up, I gotta go!" will not accompany the banging of fists on the bathroom door. "It's my turn" won't call for a referee. And a magazine article will be read in full without interruption, then discussed at length without mom and dad having to hide in the attic to finish the conversation.
Someday when the kids are grown, we won't run out of toilet tissue. My wife won't lose her keys. We won't forget to shut the refrigerator door. I won't have to dream up new ways of diverting attention from the gumball machine . . . or have to answer "Daddy, is it a sin that you're driving forty-seven in a thirty-mile-per-hour-zone?" . . . or promise to kiss the rabbit goodnight . . . or wait up forever until they get home from dates . . . or have to take a mber to get a word in at the supper table . . . or endure the piouse pounding on one Keith Green just below the level of acute pain.
Yes . . . someday when the kids are grown, things are going to be a lot different. One by one, they'll leave our nest, and the place will begin to resemble order and maybe even a touch of elegance. The clink of china and silver will be heard on occasion. The crackling of the fireplace will echo through the hallway. The phone will be strangely silent. The house will be quiet . . . and calm . . . and always clean . . . and empty . . . and we'll spend our time not looking forward to Someday, but looking back to Yesterday . . . and thinking, "Maybe we can baby-sit the grandkids and get some life back into this place for a change!"
I am now at the other end of all of that . . . gone are my messy rooms . . . too short days . . . filled up hours and hands . . .
The time has passed far too quickly . . . those days are gone before you know it. Now there are moments when I would trade everything I have just for a few minutes of sticky hands and hugs, teenage angst, messy rooms, pouts and the naughty step, and the feeling of tiny arms wrapping themselves around my neck right when I am in the middle of something important.
"No other success in life . . . not being President, or being wealthy, or going to college, or writing a book, or anything else . . . comes up to the success of the man or woman who can feel that they have done their duty and that their children and grandchildren rise up and call them blessed."
~Theodore Roosevelt, 1917
Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Cider and Honey Braised Sausages!