Spring Cleaning

I was aware, as a child,
That certain things
Stressed my parents out.
I wasn’t always sure
I understood what those things were,
But I knew they were out there.

This is still true today:
Kids are way more perceptive
Than adults give them credit for,
Largely because
So much of learning is non-verbal,
A thing we tend to forget with time.

Before summer, every year,
My parents prepared for the ordeal
Of having their children home every day
By planning summer camps,
A family vacation,
And by cleaning up the house,
Imposing as much order as they could
Before we destroyed it.

My parents believed in balance:
Some work and some play,
Some inside and some outside,
Some learning and some exercise,
Some friends and family, some solitude,
Some music and laughter, some quiet.

Spring cleaning involved all of those.
Friends who happened by were told they
Could either come back or come help,
And many chose the latter.
Helping out when it is NOT mandatory
Has always been most children’s preference.

I find myself now in need of Spring cleaning,
Both of clutter from within and without.
I’ve begun to lose the balance that
My parents saw as vital,
And that I too often value only
When I realize

I’ve lost it.

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