When my kitchen is clean, I can slay dragons. I can build castles with Legos. I can be the Princess of the Peppa Tea Party.
When my kitchen is clean, I can focus. On conversation. On work. On little boys’ laughter over the word fart and “made ya look.”
When my kitchen is clean, I can relate better to my coffee and its magical powers of overcoming patchy nights of sleep or early wake-ups or late nights with snuggles. And while the kitchen can’t give me back my sleep, it can give me a fresh start to the day.
When my kitchen is clean I can avenge the day. I can know that a little portion of my universe is contained and pleasant.
When my kitchen is clean, I can change peed-on undies, I can handle a spill of water in the basement, I can easily scoop up spilled pretzels off the floor. Because if I can clean my kitchen, I can clean anything, right?
When my kitchen is clean, I laugh as stand at the stove making dinner while three little mad-men run around in circles, screaming and attacking one another. Because I know that having them as the chaos is the very best chaos to have.
When my kitchen is clean, my world feels right.
Each morning as of late, I intentionally set aside a few minutes with the Littlest to collect all the pieces of my life and hold them in one place for a bit. I rinse the dishes and put them in the wash. I wipe down the counters like I’m waxing on and off. And my mind waxed on and off about the tasks of the day. I run the vacuum over the floors and feel satisfied with each crack and crinkle that gets sucked up. Leaving behind a place that feels under control. If even just for a moment.
And when I look around at my kitchen, the heart of my home, in order, somehow, it feels like I just might possess a wee bit of the power of She-Ra, princess of the Universe. At least my universe.
The rest of my home can be in disarray, but when my kitchen is clean, life feels less messy. And I feel ready to serve — meals, snacks, memories.
When my kitchen is littered with papers, and crap, and bits of blueberries stuck to the floor. If the sink is ever exploding with dishes. When the place where everyone gathers feels overwhelmed by stuff; that’s when I feel overwhelmed by stuff, too. And then, I clean the kitchen.
I don’t mind the mess when we’re in the moment — of dinner. Of breakfast. Of after-school snacks. I don’t mind the mess of life when it comes, either. It’s all part of the happening that life has to do. The growing that we get to do.
But in the moment of walking into a clean kitchen, it’s a little like walking into church. Yes. A kitchen can be a spiritual place, too. Where my shoulders ease and my breath calms and I feel like I can sit, cuppa joe in-hand, and be grateful for this space. This day. This life.
When my kitchen is clean, I feel like a queen. At least of the kitchen. The one that is clean.