When I saw the writing prompt of clean this morning, I neglected to sit down and blog about it right away. I mulled it over as I was cleaning dirty dishes. After all, everyone knows how to clean, and most of us clean on a daily basis. What cool and clever idea could I write about that would set me apart from everybody else? What awesome insight do I have to share with everyone?
Cleaning the dishes lacks excitement, and mopping the floors is not sexy. Pulling towels out of the dryer almost stirred a writing whim. After all, that clean fresh laundry smell always makes me think of diving into clean sheets. I rejected writing about clean sheets. Everyone already knows how awesome clean sheets are. Ugh!
The day continued to slip away, and I am still wracking my brain trying to create something original about cleaning. Suddenly, it hit me. I’m having as much trouble with the topic of clean as I do actually cleaning. I love having a clean house. I love how lemony fresh it smells, and I love the sense of happiness that I get when I look around and everything is where it should be. I love being finished cleaning before lunch on a Saturday, so that we can enjoy our weekend as a family. I enjoy knowing that germs and bacteria are annihilated by the time I’m done. I love using essential oils and other all natural products to clean with because I know that less chemicals is better for Morgan and the boys.
So I love it when things are finally clean, but I have a confession to make. I love to procrastinate and delay the actual act of cleaning. It is mundane, boring and repetitive. I have to physically force myself to begin. Once I do get started, I’m not stopping until everything is finished and done. Still, one more cup of coffee on Saturday mornings and sitting back down on the couch sounds like a lot more fun than cleaning. Ignoring Morgan’s dirty room instead of nagging her about cleaning sounds like a better weekend plan than cleaning. Anything seems better than cleaning. Complaining about cleaning seems better than cleaning.
Still, I look back over my time as a mom, and cleaning has been a big part of it. Before the kiddo, I cleaned something, and it would stay clean. I vacuumed daily to get rid of dog hair, but objects didn’t move about the house and come to rest in strange and foreign places. When she was a baby, it seemed like I cleaned with a lick and a promise for more later. When she was a toddler, I cleaned by throwing everything into the closet. When she started going to school, toys started staying in her room. With 2 months to go until Morgan is a teenager, the house stays pretty clean now. This is definitely our cleanest phase, and I revel in it.
Yet, I realize that I will miss this bane of my existence now. My house will be totally clean again when she moves out, and, in the cleanliness of it, the silence will be deafening. Finally, everything will stay in its proper place, but only because my whirligig of motion is creating chaos somewhere else, like a college dorm room or her first apartment. She’ll be talking someone else’s ear off, and I will find myself wondering where the messiness of life wandered off to. Then I’ll have to entice her over with a cup of coffee, and perhaps I’ll be lucky enough to trip over her shoes one more time.