I lost sleep on Thursday night worrying about the carpet, the amount of dust on the bookshelves, the level of cleanliness on our ground floor (Mouse House) and the overall state of neatness in our second floor living area. In and out of nightmares, I tossed and turned all night. By morning, I approached the ugly reality of unironed laundry and a scum line in the tub with fully energized determination. Sleep or no sleep; it didn't matter; my mother was coming. I gauged their trip from Slippery Rock, PA to some undetermined "halfway" point as being several hundred miles away. I guessed that they would arrive (early, of course) at approximately 11 AM. Afterall, we'd invited them to lunch! LUNCH! Isn't NOON the time-honored hour for LUNCH.
I knew they'd be early. I figured 11:15 to 11:30 AM. I armed myself with a dustmop, a broom, a brand new vacuum cleaner bag in the machine, and a bottle of Windex. Furiously I scrubbed, swept, and delivered items from inappropriate locations to better sites with purpose.
My parent arrive before 10:30 AM. At least the bed was made, the dishes were safely being washed in the dishwasher, and the middle of the living room floor was unimpaired for foot traffic. That is about the most positive thing I can say about my housecleaning.
"Shit" was all I could utter when Steve announced their arrival. I finished the few meager tasks at which I'd been working and joined them. In past years, I knew my mother would have a frozen "smile" on her face when viewing our house, but that's not what happened this time.
Maybe it is the passing of years....maybe it is old-age eyesight...maybe it is the expectations for youth (a group for which I no longer qualify)....I really don't know. My mother wasn't dissappointed. She didn't frown. Instead, she was geniunely interested in seeing the artwook I'd produced in the last few month. She was excited about Blues Chapel, "American Dream" (altered book), and the African series.
Okay, she could have followed along on this blog. She does have a computer, email, and the Internet. Yet, despite not reading this blog, she was excited for me and for my artwork.
In the end, we had a perfectly wonderful visit. She and my Dad even went to my studio. Wim Roefs' show "Humans" was already in full swing. As good as many of these pieces were, they could have cared less. They wanted to see my studio, my work, my sacred setting for creativity.
I'm forty-seven years old and had almost forgotten how important it is for ones parents to really support and care. It was an amazing day even with the dust-bunnies huddling around our feet!