Late last night, I get out the bucket and the mop.
I mop my kitchen floor.
It’s nearly 10:00 PM. I fume that no matter how clean I try to keep that floor, it gets filthy. Cleaning day is Saturday. It’s only Monday night, and here I am, mopping the filth. I can’t bear to wake up to it.
The children sleep soundly.
I mop, and then I start seeing the whole thing differently. I’m not mopping. I’m reading. I read a narrative on that floor. I have filth because we run through mud and sand. We drag wet towels in from the pool. We spill cinnamon and sugar and butter that missed the toast. There’s spaghetti sauce here, honey there. I mop ground up glitter from the fairy doors we made that morning. Bits of twigs and parsley from the butterfly pavilion we constructed for the monarch caterpillar just now building a cocoon, scattered into the corners, come clean with my mop.
Peanut butter, eggs from the omelet my daughter made herself, pencil shavings from her new pencil for her journal, coffee drips from my own cup, a cat treat crammed into the tile. You can read a kitchen floor like some book of days. We have lived for the past 48 hours.
One day, my kitchen floor won’t need a mop at all. It will shine clean. This won’t be a good day.
I leave the bucket and mop out when I finish. I will need it again tonight and every single night for the next 18 years. By the time the floor shines clean, I have tears in my eyes. Thank you God for this filth. My kitchen floor has the kind of flair I love. It’s a book I could read every night before bed. Let it be a good one.