Friday, October 28, 2011
That there is more than one standard
Rental inspection is over for another four months. Oh boy, sometimes I wish we were still home owners but about eight years ago, when my husband decided to quit work and study, we found out we had a little baby #3 on the way and wanted to take the kids traveling, the rental option seemed like a good temporary one. Now it has stretched into something that feels permanent and definitely has its down side. Not only do we have to wait for problems to be fixed up in someone else's time schedule but it hurts my homeschooling sensibilities to be 'assessed' The lady who comes is the type who notices such trifling things as dust on skirting boards.
So all week I've been rushing about like a hyperactive Siberian mountain goat washing windows, clearing ceiling cobwebs and tidying the garden. This time she wrote that the condition of the place is 'fair' making me feel like a C-grade student. Then I remember that the "Home Beautiful" magazine judging criteria she uses for her rounds aren't necessarily reasonable considering all that goes on in this house. I look around our four walls and, hey, I think it's great. These are the bodies we have crammed beneath a reasonably small roof.
a) University Music Student for a hubby, who seems to have loose sheet music trailing after him like homing pigeons.
b) Avid 16-year-old gamer for an oldest son, whose corner gets stacked with dirty dishes, bedroom gets piled with clothes, and who skilfully blocks out the first 100 requests to tidy up.
c) Almost 13-year-old girl whose favourite pastimes are gourmet cooking and the visual arts, and who gets stuck into both with gusto and enthusiasm.
d) Active 7-year-old boy. I need say no more.
e) Oh, and then there's me. Well, I like to get a bit of writing done.
I think that given our blend of homeschooling personalities and well-used furniture which we can't afford to replace, expecting a "Home Beautiful" A-grade from us is a bit of a tall order. Instead of a wing of Buckingham Palace, our home looks more like the Weasley family's house, "The Burrow", (pictured above) for anybody who has seen the "Harry Potter" movies. It's an interesting, colourful place where books get piled on shelves, saxophones and art canvases abound and current projects get spread across the table tennis table. It's the sort of place where you can kick back to see where your heart leads you. If our home was to be judged on cosiness and creativity we'd surely receive an A, but that's not the way the real estate offices do it.
I must remind myself not to buy into other people's grading systems. Having her come through is a bit like like being assessed for a subject I never signed up to study. I keep it clean. There's always a basic order that we all understand. When the day arrives that we leave, they'll find it ship-shape. We're happy. And as a sentence on Face Book reminded me, women whose homes are always impressive and immaculate don't find time to write books.