My house is always clean. The laundry gets done quickly. The dishes are rarely stacked up in the sink. My counters are hardly ever sticky and nothing gets spilled. Everything gets put in its place and there is no clutter. My floor rarely needs sweeping and I never step on or trip over toys. My house is usually in perfect order . . . and it’s infuriating.
You see, my house used to be a wreck a lot of the time. We had diapers, wipes, blankets, books, applesauce pouches, Cheerios, toys, movies, and any other number of toddler paraphernalia strewn about the house. There were pink towels hung on the tub, sippy cups on the drying rack by the sink, random pacifiers hidden all over, and a trail of favorite toys leading to our daughter playing in the bathroom laundry hamper cabinet.
Now, there is none of that.
My daughter is gone.
Cancer took her from us three months before her third birthday.
Where there once was sippy cups and tiny bowls, now there’s the coffee maker and a Rosemary plant I’m trying not to kill. The diaper bin is now full of her favorite things and put up in the closet with plastic bins of toys and clothes.The bathroom that once held her towels, bath toys, shampoos, soaps, and Tylenol now just has my stuff in it. I only have to worry about myself and my stuff each day. I no longer do extra laundry and dishes. There are no messes to sweep out from under a high chair and I only have to load my purse into the car. Diaper bags, snacks, car seats, extra clothes, strollers, and sunscreen aren’t on my radar anymore. In the evenings, I don’t end my night picking up the day’s mess and laying out what she needs for tomorrow. My grocery list is much shorter without extra milk, chicken nuggets, veggie pouches, diapers, yogurt, and Goldfish.
I’d give anything to have piles of laundry and dishes. I long to be late because I forgot snacks and had to change a diaper. I wish I didn’t get a full night’s sleep.
My house is always clean but, oh, how I wish it was messy.