I scrubbed and waxed my kitchen floor yesterday. This isn't something I generally write about, because let's be honest...chores suck.
For whatever reason, though, yesterday I had a moment while I was in between coats of wax. I sat down on the carpet and took a break. Snapped this picture and pondered the meaning of it all.
When we moved to Colorado, we moved here for a few reasons, one of which was that we were able to buy a new house. But we weren't supposed to have this house....we were supposed to have the one directly behind us. We built that one, planned it all out. It has a beautiful kitchen and whole house vacuum cleaner and all kinds of fancy things that you can add when you are eager to check off custom boxes. Then this house was done first and it had a bigger garage and a bonus room.
So we bought this one instead.
In the intervening years, I came to loathe this house for a few reasons. I wanted nothing more in the universe than to sell it and move far, far away for a long time. We didn't do that, obviously. We're still here, and I got over my issues. Mostly.
As I was waiting for coats to dry yesterday, I got to thinking about this floor and all the things it has seen.
I do that, by the way, think of the experiences of objects. (because I'm strange that way)
This floor, it's beat up, and pretty soundly. The finish has been stripped off of it in many areas, mostly around the kitchen table. There are scratches and dents and stains and drops of paint on it. It still looks okay when I spend all day scrubbing and waxing it, but it's to the point now that it looks good from a distance....just don't look too closely at it.
It definitely looks like 7 people live here.
Because 7 people do.
The finish is rubbed off around the table because we eat together, as a family, almost every night. We have done that since we moved in almost ten years ago. We've gone through entire sets of kitchen chairs, but the floor underneath them is still there.
This floor has had just about anything you could think of spilled on it, including blood, sweat and tears. It has had babies crawl on it. It has been the base of an enormous train track, it has had countless forts built upon it. There have been tea parties and birthday parties and pancake breakfasts and Christmas dinners. There have been Halloween pumpkin guts and craft projects and pinewood derby cars built here. It's been decorated with nail polish and at least 5 shades of paint and glitter.
So much glitter.
This floor has seen all the pets that have come and gone in our home, had kibble spilled on it and been splashed by babies playing in the dog water. It has caught a few glass milk bottles just right so they shattered, and one time it even caught an entire box of cereal along with the milk.
It's been sprayed with the backyard hose (on accident, uh huh) on more than one occasion. It's had sand and mud traipsed across it. It's had entire bottles of syrup spilled on it, whole bags of flour.
This floor is where I landed when I realized my father had lung cancer. This floor is where I paced with worry over my mother, frantically trying to find out where she was and what was happening. More than once.
This floor caught me a few times.
This floor has been host to crutches and scooters and wheelchairs. It's seen bicycles, rollerskates and even a Powerwheels Jeep (the fridge still has the dent from that one...)
This floor has been the place where friends and family have gathered, where I've poured out my soul to others, where I've kept myself busy and tried to keep my mouth shut at times. It's seen macaroni and cheese and four course dinners. It's seen a lot of birthday cakes.
This floor is where arguments almost tore apart our family and where my husband and I found our way back to one another. It's where we dance and sneak in a kiss before dinner just to make the kids say "ewwwww".
The floor is where little girls in ballerina shoes twirled and cleats scuffed up the wood.
It's where the backpacks and the lunchboxes still land every afternoon.
It's holding a highchair again, something for which I am eternally grateful, something that reminds me of how much we almost lost.
It was clean and shiny and perfect for less than an hour yesterday before it was spilled on again.
That's okay, though.
I let go of clean a long time ago.
This floor, more than anything else, it taught me how to do that.
It taught me to embrace the chaos.
To do what I had to do to take care of my family and let the rest of it go.
It's not perfect. It's not new. It's not even the floor I thought I'd have. It's changed over the years.
But if it catches the light just right, when you can see all the dings and the dents and the scratches, though, this floor?
It looks just like home.
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