“So….why are you mopping all the floors on Mothers’ Day?” my husband asked.
Some of you might not know this about me, but….I’m a bit of a control freak. Shocking, I know! 😉 Before my son was born, I had a cleaning calendar posted on my kitchen wall. I followed it religiously. Dust on Thursday? Done. Mop the kitchen floor on Saturday? Absolutely. I wanted my new house to look and smell as new and clean as possible.
Three years later, I gave birth to my beautiful boy.
And my house has never been clean again.
Ok. That’s a slight exaggeration, but you know what I mean. Control over my domain was gone. I had new responsibilities and a sparkling kitchen was no longer a priority. And seven years later, with the messes increasing exponentially due to my kiddo, cleaning is still not a priority. Weekends are about doing things together, going to sports practice, spending time with other family and running. I’m more than ok with the changes in my life that my boy has created. I still want a clean and tidy house, so I clean when I can, and rope my husband into helping me occasionally and now my son can at least vacuum.
But sometimes, like today, just those few minutes of sweeping and mopping and smelling that wonderful scent of Pine Sol, makes me feel in control for just a little while. It calms me, brings me a little peace.
I’ve had a lovely Mothers’ Day. My husband made me these amazing gluten-free pancakes with loads of butter and syrup, and I ate them with abandon and absolutely no guilt. My son read me a story he wrote just for me about making special robots that would clean my house (this kid gets me). Then we went shopping for running shoes, picked up a few items from the grocery store, then off to visit my mom.
If you’ve ever met my mom, you know that not only do we look alike but act alike. We’re both pretty anal retentive about how we want our house to be–I learned from the best. 😉 But my poor momma has had many illnesses and physical problems in the last few years. The latest being a dislocated ankle and bone chips in her leg, which led to a surgery. Everything went well, but now she has a cast on her skinny little leg, all the way up to her thigh. She can’t put any weight on it and has to use crutches. She’s basically homebound until the end of the month when they’ll put a walking cast on her leg. In a word? She’s miserable. But her spirits have been higher with this incident than others in the past and she’s trying not to get discouraged. (In the past 4 years, she’s broken both of her hips, too.) She likes to say that when she’s feeling down, she thinks of her kids and her grandchildren and it picks her right up. She’s lovely, isn’t she?
So today, when Briar and I went to visit my mom, we brought markers and stickers to decorate her cast. She was ecstatic to see us. Lunch was in the fridge, so I got things ready while Mom & Briar chatted. I looked around at her home, and I knew things were not quite how she wanted them. So after we ate, I swept the kitchen floor, did the dishes and offered to vacuum the rugs. She refused my offer, but we chatted about how we like things a certain way. Her boyfriend has helped her a great deal, but it’s the little things that can drive you nuts. Or at least drive *us* nuts. Like leaving the laundry basket in the living room instead of putting it back. So I moved the basket back where it should be.
I tried to make things just a little bit better for her so she feels like she has at least a smidge of control over her life.
When I got back to my house, I looked at my kitchen and bathroom floors. I had been thinking about going for a short run, but instead I swept and mopped the floors.
I needed to feel like everything was right with the world, if only for a day….or at least an hour. 🙂