I think I have swept the floor five or six times today. I don't do a very good job of sweeping (clearly) because all I can see every time I walk from the kitchen to the dining room are bits of muffin, goldfish, and teeny tiny grains of sand or sugar or flakes of our skin constantly being sloughed off as we shuttle back and forth from the kitchen to the dining room.
The kitchen-dining room thoroughfare is a well travelled area in our house. It is home to the computer from which I am writing to you currently, and to the playroom. What we call the "playroom," is really a small space off the kitchen that most people would refer to as a "breakfast nook."
The people who lived here before us were a young, childless couple. When we looked at the place to see if we wanted to rent it, it was incredibly neat and utterly without clutter. I remember their dining room table was set for two, complete with cloth napkins folded up fancily on top of the plates. They did not appear to be preparing a meal, so we had to assume that they lived their lives in such an orderly, showroom floor kind of way. The breakfast nook was completely empty, save for a large barbell and set of weights on the floor. "You can use this room for your weights," the guy told Brandon. Uh huh. We both knew what was going in that nook and it wasn't Brandon's weights. Our idea of a nook and their idea of a nook were two very different things.
Upstairs, in what is currently Teddy's room, the couple each had a desk in front of the two windows. Presumably they sat up there working quietly side-by-side, looking out the window when they lacked inspiration. It's strange that Teddy looks out on the same view when I'm changing his diaper as the previous tenants did when they were typing away on their his and hers computers.
The room that is now Charlie and Emma's room was some sort of meditation room. It housed an odd contraption that was either for praying in strange positions or maybe it was some kind of ancient pilates machine? I can't even really explain it. I just remember it was this weird, sort of gothic wooden contraption and there were candles. It's hard to imagine Charlie and Emma's cheerful room, currently cluttered with dinosaurs, astronauts and butterflies, as the site of such flammable, mystical spiritual practices.
Somehow, I doubt the people who lived here before us had to sweep the floor nearly as much as I do. I am sure if they ate goldfish crackers, they managed to keep them neatly contained either in their mouths or on their plate rather than crunching them messily with their bared teeth or under their crocs as they walked across the room.
Brandon is welcome to keep his weights in our breakfast nook at any time. He will just have to prop them against the wall, somewhere between Emma's sewing machine and Charlie's firetruck.
We live about 85% of our lives in our breakfast nook. It is a very efficient little nook. I do get annoyed with the toy clutter and with the goldfish/Cheerio dust I am constantly wading through. But the truth is I wouldn't trade it for anything.* It's a small price to pay for a life and a house lived to the fullest.
Okay, break's over. The floor's not going to sweep itself and the breakfast nook looks like a tornado hit it.
*Except for maybe a large, finished, walk-out basement with built-ins and a half-bath, not that I've given it that much thought.