Can I tell you a quick story? It has no real plot, character development or climax – so basically, it is not a very good story. What it does have is a very important message. Intrigued? Read on…
The other day I was walking up the many stairs in my house and I noticed that the white space between the stair tops (I don’t know what that part of the stair is called? The face? The joint? Who knows.) were awfully dirty.
I thought to myself, “Gosh, if I just had a free couple hours, I would sit down with a bucket of cleaning supplies, a latte and some new tunes and clean every last one of them.”
I let that thought marinate while I climbed a few more stairs and ultimately decided that cleaning each stair face actually sounded fun…and also very unlikely to ever actually happen. These days, there are greater priorities on my to do list. Like showering.
Then I reached the top of the stairs, where I was met by this view:
I bought those curtains from Target maybe 2 years ago. And two years ago, we hung them up. Only to realize they do not come even come close to fitting. Obviously, we need to either: lower the curtain rod, let go the hem or take them down completely.
For two years I have trudged to the top of the stairs only to be accosted by these damn high-water curtains. And every time I think, “Damn. If I just had 30 minutes.”
But once again, in this moment I am speaking of, I didn’t have time to think about curtain length; I had to find my down vest so I could run out the door and go to work. You see, my down vest is an essential piece of my everyday attire. It keeps me warm, which is awesome and useful, but more importantly it “hides” my chubby belly. The belly that I stare at daily and think, “If I just had an hour to go exercise”.
As you can imagine all of these “If I just had…” statements, wrapped up into one little minute of walking up the stairs, can really take a toll on a person’s soul. One can quickly find themselves descending down onto the slippery and steep ‘Oh-woe-is-me’ path. And I don’t really like it down there. As I have mentioned before, I like to be on the edge of cliffs. I like vistas and views.
So I comforted myself by allowing my mind to conjure up images of life 10 years from now; when the kids are older and less dependent. When I have more time.
On my trip back down the stairs and out the door, I told myself:
Someday, my house will be clean.
Someday, I will take those curtains down and sew adorable Etsy-worthy pillows out of the fabric. I might even embroider them or add tassels.
Someday, I will sleep through the night.
Someday, an alarm clock will once again be necessary.
Someday, my son won’t sleep in my bed. Naked. With his feet in my face.
Someday, my daughter won’t think the toilet bowl cleaner is the most interesting thing in the world.
Someday, my 4 year old will not feel the need to alert me (at the top of his lungs in a public place) to the fact that he needs to go poo poo.
Someday, my almost one year old won’t want to eat rocks and dirt and paper towels and my flip flops.
Someday, Beau will stop asking me a thousand questions about sharks.
Someday, I will have a whole afternoon to myself without have to pay anyone for the quiet.
Someday, our family will sit down to a meal where we all eat the same food. And none of us will cry.
Someday, I will permanently ban my husband’s hand-me down sweatpants from my weekend wardrobe.
Someday, I will read a book. One that doesn’t involve a Gruffalo or a brush or a bowl full of mush.
Someday, I will be skinny and hot.
Okay…maybe just less chubby and more showered. But whatevs.
Someday. Someday. Some. day.
And then it struck me. Like a lightning bolt. Like Muhammad Ali in his heyday. Like a Chinese person driving on the wrong side of the road: The someday that I am desperately waiting for will mean something else entirely.
Someday will mean that I won’t wake up next to a little smiley boy who lovingly assures me, “Mama, its morning time”.
Someday will mean that that same little boy won’t want to crawl up on my lap and cuddle with me while we watch a movie.
Someday will mean that I will not be the sole focus of my daughter’s attention.
Someday, in the presence of her friends, she might not notice me at all.
Someday will mean that I will not be needed to tie shoes, or to play games, or to kiss boo boos.
Someday will mean that I don’t get to watch them fall asleep.
Someday will mean that I won’t be able to take away their pain with a simple song or the sound of my voice.
Someday will mean that living room dance parties with their mom are uncool.
Someday will mean I won’t have the privilege of knowing the mistakes they are about to make before they make them.
Someday will mean they won’t always look to me for the answers.
Someday will mean my house will be clean and filled with beautifully hemmed curtains.
But someday, I imagine, my house will feel remarkably empty.
And right then and there I made a decision: I’ll take dirty stairs and chubby bellies over someday… any day.