03/24/2015 02:23 pm ET Updated May 24, 2015

The Stuff That Makes a Life

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The underpants show up everywhere: the couch, behind the big chair, under the kitchen table. Often, they are left on the bathroom floor, still inside the shorts they have been riding in all day. The dirty socks are launched off of little boy feet onto the piano keys and the dresser mirror. The t-shirts are bunched up in a pile next to, but never inside, the hamper. The interior of the house is a treasure hunt of cast-off clothing.

Pokemon trading cards rest under the bed pillows. Deflated soccer balls litter the yard. Chewed and still spitty dog toys are underfoot, giving a loud squeak when stepped on. Video game controllers hide in the couch cushions. Leaves from outside are tracked in through the front door, the side door, the backdoor.

On the kitchen counter, empty coffee cups ride a wave of last week's homework. A garden rose in a vase drops petals into a breakfast plate. There is a passport, a cycling jersey, a box of pencils, and a favorite wooden letter opener carved in the shape of a seahorse, each must be moved in order to set the table. And the books, the books are all around.

This is our place, where we do all the living.