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.
It's true…the dirty floor is a sign that children live there! I love my dirty floors too!
Wow! What a great new perspective on cleaning!!! That's awesome! We really can find a reason to be thankful in anything we're doing! I bet all those annoying chores and things we have to do on a regular basis wouldn't be so bad if we started thinking in that positive way!! Thanks for sharing!! 🙂
This is beautiful.xo Your husband keeps telling me i'd like you. I think he's right. 🙂
Refreshing perspective! I live alone, so I don't have as much of that problem as a busy household would. Just a tip: Taking shoes off in the house makes a HUGE difference. 🙂
Oh that made me all teary… “It will shine clean. This won't be a good day.” I'll try to remember that more often as I clean up all the messes. Beautiful, sacred messes.
Thank you so much Heather!
Here's my own version: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-genovese/balancing-home-and-career_b_652018.html
I just tweeted and FB'ed your stunning piece : )
Wish I'd had that perspective when my 3 kids were at home. Alas, they all grew up, went to college, got married, and live 2 hours away. The good news is that I'm still married to their Dad and we live with flair by falling deeper in love every day.
Be in the moments with your husband and kiddos. Clean floors are overrated anyway. blessings on your day!