My attitude toward cleaning has changed since having created a steady supply of mess and muck to clean up, that is, my kids have helped me clean more, that is, my kids help supply more to clean—dishes, clothes, toys. My son was so surprised when I said I don’t enjoy the work that he pitched in as I’d asked. Is it just my mania that I can’t see the flowers to stop and smell in the midst of trash-city cleanup? My sore-stepping-sole cries out for its own pain as much as for the shattered plastic revealed in its withdrawal. I believe there is a core self-respect and consideration of others that undergirds well-kept abodes. Degrees of cleanliness are as personal as food preferences, but when was the last time someone told you they enjoyed eating spoiled apples and moldy bread?

Of course, I can’t help to think while doing dishes that a clean floor and folded bed is a form of control. There is psychology there, an intrigue into humanity that highlights breath in cacophony, of all that’s going wrong, something is going right. Child rearing is certainly not wrong, but it can feel like chaos. And so a clean dish, folded laundry, a hot and delicious dinner: peace in a gale.  

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