I was looking around my living room the other day and it was giving me anxiety thinking about the last time it was cleaned. There were toys on every surface along with the dust, and dog hair scattered in clumps in all the corners. The dining table had food stuck to it from who-knows-when. The couch pillows were on the floor, most likely used as a boat or fort of some kind.
As I sat there, I was thinking about how easy it would be to clean it all up if I didn’t have a baby and a toddler to tend to. How if they could both just take a nap at the same time, I could at least put some things away. I was thinking about the month’s worth of laundry my husband and I have because we always have to wash the kids clothes over ours or they have nothing clean that fits. I was thinking about where to set the baby down so I could throw a load in.
But the baby on my lap was cooing and so happy. I didn’t want to put him down to do chores. My toddler was deep into some scenario with his cars and trucks. I couldn’t possibly tell him to lie down and put an end to his imagination.
Then I had new thoughts.
I was thinking one day my house won’t have any toys. There won’t be pillow forts, or trucks, or baby bouncers, or burp cloths all over my living room. I won’t have to worry about anyone else’s laundry but my own. My dining room table will have space for plates, multiple ones, instead of being occupied mostly by Legos.
And I thought, what a quiet, lonely life that will be.
My husband came in the room then and sat down on the floor next to our son and started playing with him. They were laughing. The dog was barking. The baby was still cooing.