I feel like I am finally - finally - caught up after our time away. Things are cleaned and dusted and organized and yes, it will only last for a short time but right now it is good.
Sometimes the day's work can feel so fruitless. What do I have to show when most of it will need to be redone tomorrow? It is never ending but it is an offering in itself, my offering, and what more is needed?
If only it were simple to remember that. But then come days like today, with poop on the floor and on the freshly-bathed toddler and on the other toddler and really, four baths in one day when I only had three kids? Really? Cleaning tracked poop from three different rooms? Really? And it wouldn't be so bad if only I could say I was calm about it, handled it like an adult, but I'm too damn tired for this and I threw a fit of my own because really??
But then later I remember, one day I won't be cleaning poop off the floor. I won't be picking up toys only to have them strewn all over the floor a few minutes later. I won't be wiping trays and noses and bottoms, and the floor will stay clean for more than five minutes at a time.
And I'll miss them.
I'll miss the wild abandon with which these children approach life. I'll miss the beauty they point out to me in all the places I'd never see it on my own. I'll miss the sloppy kisses, the toddler fingers tangled in my hair, the crazy "one day" stories of an imaginative boy. I won't miss the poop on the floor but I'll miss these years even as they are replaced with new stages in our life.
So I'll take it. I'll take giving four baths in one day if it means I get to hold a little one's hand as he falls asleep. I'll take scrubbing poop out of the carpet if it means I get to hear "Mommy, I love you" countless times a day. I'll take the sticky kitchen floor if it means I get sticky little hands on my belly wanting to feel the baby kick. I'll take the mess that regenerates as fast as I clean it up, because this season is beautiful in it's own way even when I'm too tired and grumpy to see it.
I'll take it all and I'll embrace it, because I'll sure miss it when it's gone.