As a simplicity-seeker and somewhat-minimalist, I am often experimenting with ways to change and improve our space.
Whether its reorganizing rooms, decluttering, or simply cleaning.
But with young kids our space has never stayed clean for one full day. Ever.
In the back of my mind I was always okay with this.
I knew one day they would both be in school and our space would be relatively untouched all day. That would be “The Day the House Stayed Clean.”
I imagined this day often in my hardest parenting moments. In my mind this day would reveal that my husband and I were not messy or disorganized at all….it was the kids.
We would rejoice at the lack of messes and noises.
Now that day is here. Today.
Today my kids finally began in-person school.
We biked to school and I watched them walk their bikes in and join their classes.
I biked home alone for the first time.
I walked into our quiet, clean(ish) apartment. It felt so magical and peaceful. I even pulled out a book to read, knowing I could read uninterrupted.
But then I realized a few things.
I realized that my daughter’s baby doll won’t have any epic adventures today.
I realized she won’t drag out the craft bin and markers and create some incredible creation out of loose items.
I realized my son’s books will remain in their stack next to his bed. His incomplete homemade comic books won’t get new pages today.
There will not be cups of water full of paint and playdoh in my daughter’s play kitchen. I cannot have her “blueberry tea” or her yarn “spaghetti.” And her daily “ballet class” she has given me for the last week will have to wait.
So while the house will stay “clean” and quiet, some of its life is gone.
I will not miss some of the messes, the endless snack requests, and the constant begging for more tech-time.
But I WILL miss them. Who they are is what has filled this space all these years.
I am glad they get to start a new chapter. New friends, new school (finally repaired from its fire two years ago), new teachers.
I am glad I get to start a new chapter as well. More of my own pursuits and passions.
But much to my surprise, those pursuits and passions do not include keeping the house immaculate.
This day has been full of memories, tears, celebration, and reflection.
And now I understand that I will not remember this day as the “Day the House Stayed Clean.”
I think it will be “The Day They Came Home to Fill it Back up.”