I just cannot go to sleep without straightening up my house and preparing for tomorrow. The coffee pot has to be cleaned and set up for the morning. My lunch has to be packed. The backpacks have to be zipped and hung on the hooks by the door.
The blinds have to be drawn on all the windows, and the doors locked. The dish drainer has to be emptied of dishes. The damp towel and used dish cloth have to be put in the hamper, with fresh ones laid near the sink for the morning. The toys have to be picked up and put away. The kitchen table has to be wiped, and the kitchen floor quickly swept.
Pajamas on, teeth brushed, face washed, moisturizer applied.
Every night. The same thing. It is as though the house is a mirror of my mind, and I have to eliminate the clutter before I can rest.
I like to wake up in the morning to a tidy house (and a tidy mind, I suppose). When I stumble downstairs at 5:15 in the morning with tangled hair and sleepy eyes, I like to know I’m starting with a clean slate. A new day, fresh with possibility.
Chances are, it will be a busy one. I’ll be a mom, a literacy coach, a daughter, a friend, a wife, a sister. The coffee pot will fill, the lunch will be eaten, the backpacks will carry home more papers. The blinds will open, the doors will unlock. The dish drainer will fill. The towel will get damp. The toys will be scattered through the house once again. The kitchen will come alive with stories and food and crumbs.
I’ll cherish the noise and the laughter and the coming and the going and the messiness that is our beautiful life in this house. But, before I sleep, I will tidy it all up again…