i did dishes last night. and this morning. and yesterday morning and on tuesday too.
the sink is deep and metal. it's got hairline scratches from piles of pans stacked up over seventy years of housekeeping. but it overlooks the front yard and the pin oaks i have grown to adore. and at 5:45 in the afternoon there's a sliver of setting sun that falls on the spigot and makes it flicker. i like to sit up on the countertop and let my heels hit against the knotty pine cabinets.
elbows deep in suds, i thought, i'll probably be doing this for the rest of my life. there will be dishes in the sink and clothes in the hamper day in and day out. it's a sort of a ritualistic romance we lead, me and these chores.
but pablo laid at my heels on the rug as i folded the millionth white undershirt. and robert came up behind me at the sink, getting his arms wet. i dropped the cereal bowl. and at nine in the evening i rested my head against him, breathing in the rusty smell of pipes and copper.
and another thought came, i hope so. i hope at eighty i'm still standing over a sink. maybe looking at the same grassy field. maybe not. maybe in a kitchen full of grandchildren, or perhaps just robert. he'll be eighty-two and by then the callouses on his hands will be deeper. a new dog on the old rug, or maybe just my house slippers.
i hope i'm blessed to always tidy up a house filled with love. but more than that, i hope to always have someone there to pull me from it. to remind me that a messy home is better than a clean house. and, on the really overwhelming days, someone to roll up his sleeves, and stand beside me in bright yellow gloves. washing and scrubbing and loving all the rest of our days.