There we stood. In the kitchen.
My husband looked at me for a moment and then moved his eyes back to the floor.
We gazed in wonder at the monstrous mound of miscellaneous items that was lying at our feet, the result of having just swept the kitchen floor.
“How is it possible for so much stuff to end up on our kitchen floor in a 24-hour period?” I asked.
My husband continued to gaze in wonder.
“Surely our floor was not this dirty before we had kids?” It was more of a question than a statement.
Honestly, though, we can’t remember that far back.
Our memories are filled with children who
spill their food on the floor (sometimes intentionally!),
create beautiful pieces of artwork with crayons that inevitably roll to the ground, get stepped on, and are eventually forgotten,
tear colored paper into tiny pieces and throw them in the air like confetti, always promising to clean up the mess, but never quite finishing the job,
play outside in the dirt building sandcastles, then come inside to empty the dirt from their shoes onto the floor.
Suddenly it occurs to me-
this monstrous mound is the perfect representation of the joy of parenting.
We love the artwork, the confetti, and the sandcastles.
But mostly, we love the children who are so good at creating the mess.
Would I trade this often messy life I have for a cleaner, more organized one?
No, I wouldn’t trade my dirty kitchen floor (or my adventurous life!) for anything.
In my eyes, our monstrous mound had suddenly become a mound of love!
My husband looked at me in silent agreement and smiled.
“You hold the dustpan,” he said with a smile, “I’ll sweep.”