Mother's column – Cleaning up, an unfinished project


Christian Life

Neline, CNE.news

Photo ANP, Evert Elzinga

As a child, I strongly disliked unfinished projects. Take, for example, the village where we lived. For months, the town centre was a construction site. When they finally finished, they started to renovate the town hall. And before the renovations could be completed, the highway's asphalt needed to be replaced. I was always looking forward to the moment that everything would be neat and finished. But that moment never came.

At the time, I could not have imagined that 20 years later, my life would be a succession of unfinished projects. A house in which a family lives is never neat and finished. Not as long as I rule it. The same applies to our backyard, especially in the summertime.

Yet, I am full of good intentions since the children have gone to school again. While I clean up the table, I already muse about all the closets I will clean today.

Neline op de fiets.jpeg

Neline is married and the mother of five: Martha (9), Abel (7), Jolijn (5), Reinout (3) and Sifra (1).

But soon, my phantasies are disturbed by Sifra, who calls for my attention loudly from the garage. It turns out that she found her bicycle seat. And her wish is obvious: she wants to go on a bike trip with mom!

Whatever, I needed to drop off my jars and bottles at the glass container anyways. Quickly I check whether all the refrigerated products are off the table – only the cream cheese needs to go in the fridge yet – and then I collect my empty bottles and jars.

A bit later, I bike to the supermarket with a happy Sifra and three rattling boxes filled with glass products. This cleans up so wonderfully! I hum a self-invented melody about the ‘virtuous woman’ from Proverbs 31.

The glass container sits peacefully in the street. But as soon as I throw in the first bottle, three angry wasps zoom outside. And with every next throw, more enemies are added. They circle angrily around Sifra, who is oblivious of any danger. She just started singing a happy song about clapping your hands. I try to chase the wasps away and attempt to throw in some more bottles from a distance. Some throws are more successful than others. The end of the story is that we return home with our cargo bike half full of bottles. One thing is clear: the virtuous housewife is also a work in progress.

On the other hand, the table is already set for lunch, except from a few refrigerated products. So, before the children come home from school, there is just enough time left to clean up the first half of one of the closets.



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