Lately I have been giving much thought to the maligned mystery of the deficient acts of stewardship in our nest. Despite my endeavors in reminding all bears to step into their duties of a steward and curate their belongings, my words fall upon deafened ears. I crave clean, orderly spaces. I enjoy organizing; it’s meditative. It’s a tremendous relief when items are in place, but I traverse room after room, two, three, four sometimes five times a day mustering articles of clothing, lifeless batteries, soggy towels, broken crayons, and orphaned books streamed across dusty floors.It’s no way to regard your belongings; it’s no way to care about Mama Bear nor our shared space. I struggle with making sure that the labor that goes into running our nest is shared by everyone living in it. How do I get all my bears to appreciate, enjoy and properly care for things that were attained with blood, sweat and tears? Thank goodness for little bear and her little yellow Luggy by her side. She is eager to make multiple trips with her Luggy, back and forth she goes shoving neglected clothes in and then pulling them out to toss them into the appropriate baskets. Rushing her older bears, ordering them to shower, reckoning the many articles of clothing to be strewn across the bathroom floor…she gets it (some of the time.)Yes, I have claimed responsibility of the keeper of the nest, however, taking the same amount of time to hang the towel where it was grabbed from sends a happier message to me. Yes, wife or yes mom, I see you for who you are and don’t expect you to trail my trajectory of items all over the nest. Yet there is an underlying assumption that I should be the one responsible for where everything belongs. Questioning myself and the countless days of repeated ritual, picking-up, folding, tossing in the wash, rinsing, wiping…my struggle has been ugly. Putting items back the way they were (it really does save time looking for it down the road) or an effortless toss into the hamper instead of on the floor is not too much to ask for, however, the assumption that I should be the only one responsible for all the belongings of everyone inhabiting the nest has me boiling over. I’ve created a space where there is little to do to maintain a tidy nest. Your plate and utensils that once cradled your warm meal that is now in your tummy, rinse and place into the beloved mechanism that cleans it for you. Your soiled garments you peeled off your body, toss them into a hamper and I will happily take it from there. A not-so-thirsty-towel, you don’t even have to fold simply hang back on the rack, only then will it dry and be there for you when you need it again.I know I am not off the track on this one, Marie Kondo does side with me here. She would concur that it’s not fair nor sensical for simple household matters to fall only onto one person (unless of course there is one person living in the nest.) However, when a space is shared by me, Papa Bear, Big, Middle and Baby Bear then shouldn’t the knowledge of where everything is kept and how it’s stored become the responsibility of us all? Not one keeper, not one fusser, but an ongoing esprit de corps in a space of shared accountability; a dreamy life-changing magical shift of effort performed together, day in and day out. I do have my space, my way to take the otherness, the uncertainty, the alien and threatening chaos that is so far out there in the world, that my arms will never be long enough to gather and compartmentalize and keep safe. Here, in my nest, however I can do just that. I can haul everything that could be overwhelming and thoughtfully put it in a place where it feels good, out of sight, yet within reach for when it is needed. A tidy nest…there is nothing like it…a peaceful retreat when you arrive as the day is yawning. And as the crimson sinks below the rooftop, and in the kitchen when the utensils stop clinking without the unimaginable that is out there, that fractious and argumentative world filled with fear and misunderstanding that drapes heavily over our shoulders, I race to complete my tasks before the last drips of light. Waiting for darkness to tumble and twirl around the rooms, under beds, and sofas and chairs and engulf everything in it’s path, so all that remains are stars that sparkle and fizz into the deep inky night sky. Yet communication has broken down. Words no longer hold merit. They no longer provide a breathing space—a much needed reprieve—instead cries escalate into thundering, bellowing yelps that smother all rational thoughts. This weightiness needs to be deflated. How do you get your family to embark on joint efforts to tidy up? I’m all ears, please tell me.