You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

I’m no artist. I live with a budding one, and she’s constantly leaving papers and art supplies strewn all over that house, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
The point is: I can’t paint pictures with paint which is why I’m going to attempt to paint one with words.

I spent all of last week praising my new routine like it was the best thing since Club Crackers (you all know they’re the best). Having my cleaning day on Monday rather than Saturday has revolutionized my life. The house stays clean(ish) for the rest of the week, and it makes everything flow much mo’ bettah. I worked hard everyday to pick up and straighten up so that my Monday work wouldn’t be for naught. The bigger things: like the gunk on the lid of the trash can and the facial hair mounting in the bathroom sink, I pushed aside knowing I’d get to them on Monday.
Remember my post yesterday about how crazy the weekend was?
It was.
I didn’t get a chance to clean at all Saturday night or Sunday morning.
Hear that? That means I actually DID clean on Saturday morning. To be precise, I reorganized my pantry and a few other shelves in the laundry room.
I hopped all weekend.
And on Sunday, I hopped in high heels. Apparently, I got up at 6 am on Sunday and shut my alarm off. I don’t remember doing it. All I remember is going to bed with my alarm ON and waking up at 7:22 am. This only gave me one hour to get me and the family out the door dressed, pressed, and ready for church. It ended up taking an hour and a half. We were THIRTY minutes late to church.
I should have liked to have died.
But because we were attending an extra hour of church later in the day (to listen to Ju talk, sniffle) I didn’t worry too much about it. During Primary, I was hopping from one end of the church to the other. After Primary, I hopped into my car and drove home to slice tomatoes for 100 people as fast as I could. Then I drove back to the church and listened to my sister speak.
Then I helped serve hamburgers and hot dogs to 100 people. Then I drove to the church and bawled like a baby while my sister was set apart as a missionary. I came home that night and crashed. I absolutely crashed.
Monday morning, I knew I needed to clean the house. I had my family coming over for dinner (a Greek dish Ju and I had our eyes on), and I needed to clean up before I could even THINK of cooking.

The outlook was disheartening. There were papers, crayons, markers, and TORN bits of paper just… everywhere. There were dried out markers on the table… sticker books and stickers lying out… shoes… an empty bag of tortilla chips… dishes… I half-heartedly rolled up my sleeves and went to work.
I put crayons away.
I turned around.
The crayons were back out.

Somewhere between the mounting stack of dishes and the shoes all over the floor, I started to believe that my family’s ability to PUT THINGS AWAY and their LOVE FOR ME were directly related.
Now, I say that in all seriousness, so please laugh. It’s ridiculous, but what mother hasn’t felt that way?
My mood darkened, and then -in the midst of my hormones, dark cloud, and heavy loaded shoulders… I smelled poop.
I called my son to me and sat down on the floor to change him.
We had our futon laid down and a blanket covering it so that my brother-in-law (who I LOVE!) could sleep on it the night before.
I sat just in front of the futon, pinning down the blanket covering it. I pulled my son’s socks off. I pulled my son’s PJ pants off. I looked at the clock to see exactly how many hours I had left until 12 people were coming through my door to eat dinner.
And then I looked to the right.
And I saw poop.
On my floor.
Just… sitting there.

“Who pooped on the floor?!” I called out, hardly excited that even had to SAY those words.
“Oh, Trent!” My daughter chimed in, cheerily, “I think it dropped out.”
Dropped out? I looked back at my son and saw STRONG evidence that poop had, indeed, fallen from his diaper to my floor.
I tried cleaning it up.
It only resulted in me getting covered and him getting covered and the blanket getting even more covered… and so I sent him directly to the tub.
Do not pass Go.

I peeled off my awesome sweats and t-shirt cleaning outfit, threw them in the washer, threw my son’s clothes in the washer… stressed about how I didn’t really have TIME for this because I still had to run to the store and WHERE was I going to get the MONEY to run to the store…
I grabbed a corner of the soiled blanket and jerked it off the futon. When I did, a pile of laundry I couldn’t see (yeah, it was THAT cluttered) fell onto the futon as well.
A clean pile of laundry.
That needed folded.
That needed ME to fold it.

And I lost it.

I stood over my sink full of dirty dishes and I scrubbed and cried, scrubbed and cried. I realize this is silly -I even realized it at the time. I realize other people would give anything to have a dirty house be their Everest rather than, oh, say… cancer…
But yesterday I was emotional with the thought of my sister leaving, the dinner that had to fixed, the shopping that had to be done, and here in my own house that I’d spent the ENTIRE week cleaning… I couldn’t make even an inch of progress.
I was defeated.
And I was bawling.

A few hours before, I had updated my facebook status to “I need hired help today, no lie.”
We ALL need hired help, so I didn’t think anything of it.
But as I stood over my sudsy sink in my second pair of awesome sweats and a t-shirt, scrubbing and trying to will away the scent of poop while wiping my snotty, bawling face… there was a knock at the door.
I was past the point of keeping up appearances, and when I opened the door to see my neighbor from down the road standing there saying, “I have an hour, what do you need done?”
I wrapped my arms around her and I bawled.
In general, I don’t like to admit defeat. I don’t like others cleaning my house, and I don’t like the fact that I NEED help.
But yesterday, I welcomed her with open arms and was so grateful for the help that I didn’t even hardly notice she was seeing my at my absolute worst.
Together we had the house very nearly spotless in just one short hour. Then she took my kids for an hour and I was able to completely clean both bathrooms, dust the house, rehang my clock that my husband promised to hang a week ago, and put finishing touches on everything.
The kids came back through the door, and I thanked my neighbor profusely again.
Then I started cooking.
Then I went shopping.
Then I put together a meal and we all enjoyed our last dinner with Julianne.

I couldn’t have done it without Vicky. I absolutely could not have.

All I could think about while she was vacuuming my house and I was shoving my husband’s tools in the closet was:
You find out who your friends are.
Somebody’s gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas, get there fast
Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far’
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who your friends are.

How did she see the line of truth in a silly facebook status that most everyone brushed aside and thought “who doesn’t?”
People like her make me want to pay it forward.
And now it’s time to clean up and say goodbye to my little sister. Remind me again how short 18 months are?


  1. I love Vicky, she is wonderful! And you are wonderful too!! I LOVE that song! This town is full of great “friends”!

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