It was pretty depressing, what I saw. (And if I were to get up out of this chair and walk out there again, it will still be depressing, since I didn't actually do anything about it.) Candy wrappers all over the place (worst part of Halloween), pieces of Harry Potter costumes strewn over furniture and radiators,backpacks and homework, blankets, jackets, pens and pencils, shoes and socks, and half-eaten candy (I take it back--that is definitely worse than wrappers) in every available corner of the room that was once clean as recently as this morning.
Oh, and music. There is sheet music littering the floor, piano and violin books thrown on the couch and two violins out of their cases, sitting on chairs.
Just as I was about to get all angry and curse Halloween and its candy and costumes and crazy children I took a couple of deep breaths and remembered how this evening actually went, and why my living room was looking so very....lived in.
I haven't been feeling very well lately (ear infection, head cold, general crud-that's-going around), so I went to lie down after dinner. Joel has orchestra rehearsal on Tuesday evenings, so he left pretty soon after that. Homework had been mostly finished before dinner, so I told the girls that as soon as it was done they could "sort" their Halloween candy. Which is really just a fancy way for them to eat it while I'm not looking. My bedroom is just off of the living room, so I could still "supervise" and "sleep" at the same time. (What, can't you do that?)
The girls had an absolute blast in there "sorting" candy. I listened to them laugh and talk and just be together. Pretty soon, Chloe started playing some songs on the piano, and then Sophia got out her violin and began to play her newly mastered Twinkles. Then Bria got her own violin out and started playing an Irish jig and a concerto or two, then joined in on the Twinkles with Sophia, while Chloe tried to plunk out the tune in the same key as the violins. Then Bria got bugged because Sophia's violin was a little flat and so she tuned it herself, but ended up popping the peg out of place and then Sophia freaked out and brought her violin to me to fix. I was by now on the phone with my own mother and got it mostly tuned while I talked and then handed it off to Bria to finish. Then they went back and made music together for a good hour or so.
When it was time to get ready for bed, I called them into my room and gave them orders to get PJs on and brush teeth and put away their candy stashes and everything else and then meet on my bed for prayers. It took a while, but they did, and then we sat on the bed while they sang songs to me for another half hour. We finally prayed and they finally disappeared upstairs to maybe fall asleep, if only all of the sugar they ingested tonight lets them.
And I got up to go to the kitchen and walked through the aftermath of HAPPY CHILDREN.
How blessed I am.
(And now I will happily go clean it all up...)