Cleaning a Kid’s Bedroom or Creating Timeless Memories
One of my favourite experiences as a mom of five was The Cleaning of the Bedrooms. For years, I spent one Saturday after another with my butt parked on a stripped twin bed, directing the cleaning, disinfecting, and rearranging of one of my kids’ rooms. With music (their favourite playlists) on loud, and a pot of coffee at hand, we’d sift through the mess and end up with a fresh, clean, welcoming space, a happy — and connected — mom, and a proud and grateful child.
Sure, there were things I’d rather have been doing with each of my charges than cleaning a filth-filled chaotic disaster area, but there is no denying the emotional reward of spending an entire day with just one child, face to face, side by side. The walls come down and the words begin. Secrets are shared. Stories are told. Confidences are made.
Conversations that don’t happen in the five minutes after they get home, or the half hour before bed, or the handful of texts throughout the day, bubble to the surface and strengthen relationships in ways that are hard to describe.
You never know what to expect.
On one particular Saturday, as I sat sipping my steamy java on a beautiful sunny day, the window opened wide behind me despite the screen having fallen out at some previous point in time, my foot tapped happily to a catchy tune that had my twelve-year-old son picking up laundry in time to a steady beat.
I’d thought it was some annoying underlying snare drum trick akin to too much cowbell that distracted me from the melody of the song, but when the tune ended, the scratching continued. A few songs later, I surmised that one of the neighbours must have been doing something out back. Whatever it was couldn’t go much longer. Like nails on a blackboard, the noise was beginning to make my teeth ache.
As the ache was finally seeping up my neck, Kid stopped what he was doing and turned off the music with a terse, “What the heck is that noise?”
“Probably just the neighbour,” I gritted.
“Yeah, but what is it?”