I remember when my house was clean – really clean. No fingerprints on the windows, no cobwebs in the corners, no ground in raisins in the carpet, nothing but spotless, eat-off-my-floor clean.
I love clean. I spent hours cleaning. As a stay-at-home mom of one toddler, it didn’t take much to keep a tidy home. And I had the time to keep an immaculate home. It brought me a great sense of accomplishment to look at the sparkling kitchen floor, the neatly made bed, and not a single item was out of place.
Fast forward 10 years…My kitchen counter goes missing under a huge pile of whatnot at least 3 times a week. The kitchen floor has at least 8 pairs of shoes on it at any given time. Books, papers, and toys seem to ooze out of cracks in the wall, under doors, spilling onto any flat surface. My house is clean for a maximum of 10 minutes each waking day.
But I’m okay with that. I don’t have hours to spend cleaning any more. And I don’t want to. The dried up baby food, the toilet paper strewn all over the bathroom, the first alphabet scribblings, the rocks, sticks, and other ‘treasures’, the Legos, Star Wars figures, origami guns, hats, and snakes – it is my children. Their lives, depicted in this mess called home, go by like the turn of a page, blown by the wind. Each moment with them is an opportunity to love them, hold them, cherish them. “It goes by so fast!” “Treasure each moment!” Cliches heard over and again from old grayhairs, still timelessly true. Soon they will not like messes either. Soon they will be on their own, and I will have no more mess to clean.