i found this essay i wrote a over a year ago. i’m deciding to publish it today. it’s wild how much changes in just over a year. 20 months ago, my first baby was about to turn one. we were looking ahead to a monumental moment. we’d almost made it through that first year, and the little girl in front of me was emerging from babyhood to toddlerhood quicker than i could have imagined. i was beginning to forget what life was like before motherhood attached to my identity, and i was just beginning to see how sweet and sacred the gift of motherhood is.
from the archives, the kitchen floor.
She’s almost one, and I watch her play. I watch her explore. She moves from cabinet to cabinet, opening and subsequently slamming all the doors. My heart laughs. She pauses at the stove drawer and attempts to pull herself up. I watch and wait as she musters all her strength to get up to her knees.
Her sweet voice says hello to the baby reflected in the oven door. And then she turns around.
She greets me, eager eyes seeking affirmation that she can pull up the rest of the way.
I watch her do all of this from our new favorite place. The kitchen floor. It’s hard tile and it’s perpetually cold. I think my knees are permanently bruised, but something about this plain, cold tile is endearing…and warm. In the last 11 months, this floor has been everything from our playroom to our fine-dining table. We’ve opened every cabinet at least a million times, and we’ve scattered every piece of tupperware as far as the eyes can see. We’ve eaten countless meals, swept an obscene amount of crumbs, and prayed hundreds of prayers all on that tile floor.
I think about the amount of time I have spent on any kind of floor since I became a mom, and it’s a lot. All of a sudden it’s normal. Down and up and down again. Always on the floor. It’s hard and hands-on and tiring to be on your knees and on your stomach and on your back and on half your butt-cheek instead of on your feet like most normal humans. And now, I realize, I feel like that in more ways than one. Motherhood has a way of knocking you right on your ass. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. It’s eating your humble pie and your celebratory cake all in the same day. It’s the extremes of all things. From your hormones, to your sleep, and even to the size of your pants.
But it is good. All the moments on these hard floors remind me that the act of laying down myself for the sake of raising my child is a profound joy and privilege. I forget this more than I’d like to admit, but this sacrifice of comfort – it’s one thing on the long list of sacrifices that we sign up to make when we enter this holy journey called motherhood. We get down on the lowliest of levels so we are face-to-face and eye-to-eye with these mini versions of ourselves. They need us. They like us. We treasure them.
I’m new to motherhood, but it hasn’t taken too long for me to realize the truth that this season of raising young kids just is exhausting. But every older, wiser mama tells me it’s short. And now that we’re creeping up on a year, I’m starting to believe them.
So on the millionth time in one day that I get down and up and down again and move my baby girl from tile to hip and back to the tile, I will treasure this time on our cold, crumby, sacred kitchen floor.