Parents Don’t Need a Clean House As Much as They Need This

If I work my brain hard enough, the picture of a clean house comes into focus. The edges are blurred, yellowed even, like a photograph from days gone by.

There were no expired foods in the cupboard, accidentally shoved behind boxes of fruit snacks and Cheerios. There was no risk of the dreaded LEGO foot when you walked through your own living room in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, planting your heel squarely on a plastic brick.
The counters were spotless.

Mold knew better than to set up residence in my fridge.

And there was nothing like a good window scrubbing to rid your mind of its troubles.

Those were the days BJ. Before Jillian.

When the end of the work day was full of possibilities. Eat in or eat out. Scrub the toilet or fold the laundry. Watch TV or read a book.

When the weekends were made for sleeping late and cleaning out a closet. Or two.

The possibilities are still there at the end of the work day. Dinner (usually in). Bath. A chapter or two of the latest book (Mr. Popper’s Penguins is hard to put down). There’s soccer practice this week. There’s homework to come when school starts up again.

And the weekends are full of birthday parties and playdates.

The closets will have to wait.

And the toilet.

And the laundry.

It will all be there in 12 years.

She won’t.

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Image via Pink Sherbet Photography/Flickr

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