What lurks beyond the surface - JJ Landis
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What lurks beyond the surface

So Emma goes into the kitchen to get a giant plastic bowl for her five animal crackers because she is obsessed with eating every snack out of a bowl. Pretty sure this is my fault for instilling fear in my kids of ever dropping a crumb on the floor. Their usual snack-eating position is to meekly crouch in the corner with their Doritos and granola bars and eat them over their green plastic, crumb-catching bowls while rocking back and forth, eyes darting, hoping Mommy is not watching. Okay, not really, but I wish.

Emma pulls open the cabinet door and the avalanche of Rubbermaid nearly kills her. Oops. Comfort crying child and get her a larger, more delicious snack. Shove all the mess back into the cabinet and slam door so it is cocked and ready for next innocent bowl-getter.

Here it is. I am a freak about the kids dropping food and tarnishing the perfection of the home, which is a showplace, a castle. I’m lying; it’s kind of a worn, lived in, dirty and dull dwelling, but for this story, imagine a Better Homes and Gardens feature home. But all the while lurking behind a thin door is a mess, containers of all shapes and sizes with various lids that don’t fit any of them. Nothing is organized. Nothing fits. (Who has the time to organize their Tupperware anyway?)

Pick a door, any door. A drawer or closet. Even my bedroom or bathroom. Look inside if you dare and you will find dust, stinkbugs, dirty clothes, old homework, animal crackers, mess, chaos, ick.

My life consists of shoving all the details inside and slamming the door. On the days when I have to leave the house, I can get out of the sweats and put on a good show. The smile gets plastered on and the charm oozes (slight exaggeration as charming would probably not be a word people would use to describe me). Like my crumb-free home. But lurking just behind the surface is a mess. I question God on a daily basis. I question myself on a daily basis. I wonder if it’s worth getting dressed and leaving the house. I judge and criticize. I rip things apart. I fall again and again. Open a door if you dare…

Am I the only one like this, I wonder.

  • Peggy Zehr
    Posted at 14:19h, 20 July Reply


  • sharon
    Posted at 21:39h, 20 December Reply

    no – no you’re not alone… and for that very reason that’s why i’m keeping my child safety locks on, so it contains the crap i’m hiding. not so much to keep children out.

    but, you are definitely not ‘hiding’ the mess – you’re telling the world about it with your awesome blog posts, and i love reading about all the mess and chaos in your life!

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