A few weeks ago, a leaky toilet damaged the floor in an upstair's bathroom. We were forced to uproot the damaged flooring and replace it with brand new linoleum. For the last few weeks, we've admired our new pristine floor... until tonight.
As I was putting boys to bed, I rushed into the bathroom to assist with teeth brushing. I glanced at the floor in horror; navy blue ink spots blanketed the linoleum. One son rushed in behind me and quickly explained his ballpoint pen had exploded all over the floor. He had an "oopsy daisy" sort of expression as he professed his sorrow and assured us it was an accident. It was one of those parenting moments where I really just needed a minute to take a few deep, yoga breaths and count to ten.
After I composed myself, I rushed to the computer. I Googled "How to remove pen from linoleum." (I really wanted to Google, "How to keep calm when your children seem to damage every last morsel of your home.") Google equipped me with remedies and I rushed into the bathroom clutching bottles of hairspray, rubbing alcohol, and nail polish remover. What I assumed would be a minor cleanup turned into an over hour endeavor.
When I first started scrubbing, I was angry. I even questioned what life would be like if we had remained childless. Surely, I wouldn't be huddled over a linoleum floor rubbing out pen marks. I imagined my only stress would be which book to read or what TV program to record. Darn kids, I muttered.
But, as I continued to rub, I really reflected on parenthood. Before I held my first baby, I never imagined parenting to be so messy, imperfect, and hard. But despite all its challenges, I would never trade being a mother for pristine floors or an immaculate house.
As my cleaning supplies dwindled, I glanced at the floor. A few ink spots still dot the linoleum. The floor is no longer perfect. I think I'll refer to it as well-loved.