On Rejoicing & The Ridding of Rubbish

The trucker rattling along in the right lane surely heard us singing loud and clear, over and out:

"Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice....rejoice, rejoice and again I say rejoice!"  

Caed and I crooned carelessly off-key, while Dani piped in with the five second delay, adding "rejoice" only after we were already on "Again I say".  

I experienced one of those split seconds of parental pride, you know, the fleeting moment when you feel like something other than a complete failure.  Here I was, singing joyfully with my kids as we cruised down the highway, infusing oodles of anti-whining, pro-happy values into their little hearts.

After we finished serenading the semi-truck, Caed announced, "I know what 'joicin' means.  It means cleanin' up."  

Mmmkay, that's an interesting interpretation. I asked him to explain.  

He continued, "You know, rejoicin' is when we get out the vacuum and use the spray and the cloths to clean up our mess."  

Oh dear boy, could we be any farther from the textbook definition?  Rejoice means to "feel joy, to be delighted", not exactly the words that come to mind when I scrub the toilets.  (However, I have been known to rejoice when someone else scrubs the toilets.)  

So off I went in search of a correlation between the rejoicing and the ridding of the rubbish.  I never did figure out how Caed put the two together, but I did come up with a few theories of my own:

1) Both require repetition.  I decide daily, hourly, and even by the moment whether to rejoice or complain, and whether to let the dust settle or to stir it up and temporarily out.  Will I provide the crusty crumbs a rent-controlled haven on the breakfast chairs, or will I promptly evict them in hopes of a few hours of smudgeless vacancy? Whatever the answer, I know that within hours--if not minutes--the chairs will again be in need of wiping, as will the children.  And I repeatedly fight the battle between the my right shoulder Pollyanna ("Let's play the glad game!") and the left shoulder Debbie Downer ("Wuh...wuh...wuuhh").  

2) I grow weary and want to give up on both.  I reluctantly wash dishes. knowing they will soon be dirty again; and I do not easily delight in the daily drudgeries.  I find it difficult to choose joy in the midst of diaper duty, or to speak with a happy heart when settling sibling skirmishes over the only presently cool toy in a room teeming with plastic battery-powered childhood entertainment.  It is hard to rejoice the first time, let alone again, and again.  

3) I know I should do both, but I'd rather make excuses.  For example, "The house is just going to get trashed anyway, so why even bother?"  Or, "YOU try being joyful when surrounded by this incessant whining and these non-stop demands!"  

So maybe there is something to the cleaning and rejoicing connection. The Pollyanna in me thinks so.  The Debbie Downer in me feels like punching Pollyanna in the mouth, but refrains because human mouths are like one hundred times more germ-ridden than dogs' mouths, and oh the devastation that bacteria can cause....

Speaking of bacteria, I should probably go scrub those bathrooms.  

They are in dire need of a good thorough rejoicing.  

As am I.

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