Portrait of a Night-Cleaner

Saturday, October 19, 2013

It is currently 3:29 in the morning and I am sitting here eating my favorite treat of Greek yogurt and berries as a way of rewarding myself for a kitchen well-cleaned. It was the kind of deep, cranny-cleaning that required country music and a little dancing. In my head, I played this game where I pretended that it was actually 5 years from now and I was living in a small, yellow house out in the country, my husband and children long since gone to bed, and I was up late finishing the chores.

It was absolutely perfect.

I certainly did not used to feel this way but, for some reason, that is the most beautiful scene I can picture, the greatest thing I could aspire to at this time in my life. I hope it's because I'm older and wiser and mature enough to realize that family life/motherhood/homemaking is the greatest joy I can have on Earth, the best gift I have to offer. I hope it's because I've stopped trying to avoid all semblance of my dear, dear mother, and am instead trying to learn from her incredible example.
My beautiful mother in high school (on the right)

My mother is a night-cleaner. Of course sleep is usually the preferred activity, but there is something so serene about feeling like the only soul still awake in the world, polishing and perfecting the little corner you possess. It seems to be such a small thing compared to the women who hold powerful corporate decisions involving huge sums of money, such a small thing to cut out coupons that save you a couple of dollars on jars of peanut butter, such a small thing to fold tiny pairs of socks, such a small thing to give baths and read bedtime stories, such a small thing to stay awake until the early hours to clean a kitchen.
The two of us having a girls'-night-out

Growing up, I always had an uncanny knack for knowing when my mother was awake. I would wake up at two, three, four in the morning and go sit by her while she would finish cleaning the dishes from the nightly dinner circus. Sometimes (should have been all the time, but that's a kid for you...) I would actually help. But mainly, I just wanted to whisper back and forth to her and feel that calm, sweet, motherly love she would exude. I loved that feeling, those whispered conversations so much I would stay up until the sun rose just to be with her. Was it such a small thing? Not at all. Not to me.

1 comment:

  1. You are mature and wise and wonderful. This made me teary. So well written. Your chosen field is fitting. You do have an amazing mother and you have captured that so beautifully here. Thank you for reminding me that it is all those little things that make a huge difference and showing me proof in the wonderful young woman that you have become. ( :


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