Today in church, the chilren’s sermon was about lent. The leader was asking what do we do during lent to prepare for Easter? One of the girls in the crowd piped up, “Spring cleaning!” Many of the people in the pews laughed. I said to my friend, “but she’s right, figuratively.” According to wikipedia, “Lent, in Christian tradition, is the period of the liturgical year leading up to Easter. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer — through prayer, penitence, almsgiving and self-denial — for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus, which recalls the events linked to the Passion of Christ and culminates in Easter, the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.” Sounds like spring cleaning to me…
After we watched The Sandlot tonight and I carried the boys to bed, I shut off the DVD player and the TV system defaulted to cable. I began channel surfing and landed on Clean House with Niecy Nash. This is a show that I used to watch with my mom sometimes. I am fairly certain the flowers my mom wore in her hair (a tradition I sometimes carry on) were inspired by Niecy.
This is a show where Niecy and crew go into people’s houses and remove the clutter and reorganize. It’s more than just literal, it’s figurative, too (like Spring cleaning). People have got to have issues if they are living in houses so cluttered by stuff that they can’t even use some of the rooms, or like in the show that I was watching tonight, have to sleep in their living rooms because their bedrooms are filled with so much stuff they can’t make it to their beds.
Niecy tells it like it is, and my mom and I both admired how she called people on their sh**.
In tonight’s episode it was a single mom who lived in a cozy bungalow with her 19 year old son. The mom was ill (heart condition) and couldn’t get around very well and couldn’t expend the energy to clean and wasn’t “a very good delegator.” Her son estimated that he played video games 8 hours a day and he procrastinated about cleaning and he felt really guilty about it. I guess not guilty enough to clean. They sat around in the living room together all day. She’s a transcriptionist; he doesn’t appear to work at all (I guess he’s spending the time he could be working playing video games.)
“We prepare our children for what they are going to be without us,” Niecy told the mom. The kid is almost 20 years old and still leaves his socks around the house.
Part of the uncluttering includes having a yard sale. Niecy’s crew goes through the house to cull things for the sale. In this episode, the son was asked to sell his video-game console.
“You can’t just expect a man to give up his games,” was his answer.
Well, I can’t expect a boy to give up his games. I agree. (And I can’t expect an addict to go cold turkey.)
Ultimately, he did give up the games. And ultimately, I am sure the house got cleaned up. (I didn’t finish watching the show.)
But this literal house cleaning is probably only the first step in cleaning house these folks need to do.
I actually picked up my 8 year old’s socks tonight and left them on the floor next to his bed after I tucked him in. But God help me if my kids are still leaving their socks around when they’re 19 years old.