I will keep building castles

My five year old sang the clean up song for the entirety of the drive to the gym. There are four lines in the clean up song and eight miles to the gym. If she sang the song on repeat, how many times did her mother have to listen to it?  (Write a number model and show your work.)

If only there was a positive correlation between the number of times Dani sang the clean up song and the number of minutes in a month that my house could pass as "clean."

"Don't get me wrong. I'm not glorifying the days of working full time," I told my friend today. "I haven't forgotten how the stress impacted me and how poorly I handled it. But I also haven't forgotten that someone else used to clean the entire house every two weeks."

We joked about the monotony, how our long gone days of donning suits and boarding the metro have been replaced by groundhog days of breakfast, carpool, laundry, lunch, groceries, dinner, dishes. (Notice how cleaning no longer makes the monotony list? Oh, it's still monotonous all right. I've just given up on doing it over and over. Cleaning has been bumped down to a special-occasion-only activity, like when company comes or when Dani spills what appears to be 78 ounces of hot cocoa onto every last crevice of the table, chairs and kitchen floor.)

I wouldn't trade these groundhog days for anything, not for weeks on end of a sparkling, spotless house, and I certainly won't wish them away. I love this small life, really I do. However. (There is always a however, isn't there?) I feel worn down and nearly washed away in the futility of my over-and-over-again life. Every morning at low tide I build castles on the shore, and every evening at high tide, I have nothing to show for my art.

And I know this isn't a feeling exclusive to a stay at home mom. Or a working mom. Or an any-kind-of-mom. This struggle against atrophy, the way the world eventually unravels everything we weave, this is an every person sort of struggle. 

Yes, I am weary. Yes, I look around and see greener grass (and cleaner houses). And yes, I am irritated and ruffled and uninspired and desperate for praise and love and satisfaction.

But no, I won't stop building castles. I won't stop scrubbing dishes and folding laundry and supervising play practice and driving the pot-holed path to school. All evidence of progress, every trace of my art may be washed away by evening, but I won't be swept away along with it to be drowned in my own insignificance.

I will choose to believe that the most mundane of moments can add up to a beautiful lifetime, that the tedious can turn inspirational, that a trickle of grace in the everyday can pour out a powerful white-capped legacy.

I will keep building castles.

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