“When you’ve finished with the mop then you can stop
And look at what you’ve done
The plateau‘s clean, no dirt to be seen
And the work, it was fun” – Nervana, Plateau
There’s a moment each day that exhausts and causes me to shake my head in wonder. I survey the chaos of scattered books, toys, dishes and laundry. Take inventory of lessons taught and lessons unfinished, and marvel at how much still needs to get done before I can lay my head down to rest. So much activity in just a few hours, and yet so little change from the previous day. I feel stuck on a plateau, waiting to come down the other side.
But then the end of the day finally comes, after the dishwasher is filled and the counters are wiped down. Bedtime kisses are doled out, sleepy bodies are tucked under warm fleecy blankets, and the waning glow of night lights peek out of bathroom doorways. I stand at the top of my staircase, overlooking the quiet, and smile. The careful tick, tick, tock of the office clock flirts with the soft breath of hot air pushing through the floor vents.
I listen to nothing.
I listen to everything.
I listen to my husband snoring, to the murmur of music on The Hare’s bedside table and the rustling of blankets from The Tortoise.
And I remember.
I remember the conversation I had earlier in the day about college funds, retirement, and life insurance. I picture these rooms with less shoes or discarded clothes on the floor. I imagine hallways with no exploding backpacks or cork-board calendars speckled with concert dates and gymnastic meets. And it makes me crave much earlier conversations about wedding dates and baby names. It makes me miss overflowing diaper bags and toy boxes.
There’s a moment each day that exhausts and causes me to shake my head in wonder.
I am humbly reminded that even the work is fun.
And I will miss it when it is over.