I remember it so clearly, a few years ago when one of my best friends recited this poem to me. We both had two toddlers at the time and were joking about the chaos. As an Irish speaker, she spoke it ‘as Gaeilge’ first and then in English. It took my breath away when I heard it...
‘Subh Milis’ by Irish writer Séamus Ó Néill.
Bhí subh mhilis
Ar bhaschrann an dorais
Ach mhuch mé an corraí
Ionam a d'éirigh,
Mar smaoinigh mé ar an lá
Nuair a bheas an bhaschrann glan,
Agus an lámh bheag
There was jam
On the door handle
But I suppressed the anger
That rose up in me,
Because I thought of the day
when the door handle would be clean
And the little hand
It gets me every time – sniff.
After the arrival of my three boys my perfectly tidy show home is long gone. It seemed to literally happen overnight, one day I just gave up. I made peace with the clutter, embraced the scratches, and moved all the breakables out of the way! Don’t get me wrong, I can usually be found scrubbing furiously before any visitors arrive, but on a day to day basis I’ve definitely accepted the chaos.
I’ve learned that almost everything can be cleaned away, and the things that can’t are memories from a time when they were small and they lived in a happy house.
Now, I’m off to find a tissue – the last time I saw them they were in the coal bucket!