Sometimes, when I feel like I’ve been a particularly bad mother, I go upstairs to my children’s rooms and clean up a bit.

I have two teenage sons and realistically, I should not be stepping one foot into their torrid kingdoms. (Let’s be honest, it smells weird in there and I don’t want to stumble across something I don’t want to stumble across if you know what I mean.) 

But sometimes I venture in anyway and tidy it up.

It is my way to atone for messing up their lives in some way. (I’m sure I’ve done something wrong. Or irretrievably embarrassed them in some way. That is pretty much a given when you have teenagers.)

Recently I found myself in that mindset and as I was fluffing pillows (FLUFFING PILLOWS!) I noticed I was oddly happy and humming. Like freaking June Cleaver.


I quickly analyzed the situation and came to the conclusion that I was, indeed, happy.

What a bizarro occurrence. I mean, I hate everything about cleaning and chores and household maintenance. That much is well documented. (Except for vacuuming which I find oddly cathartic.) I’d much rather write a term paper or shovel snow than scrub a dish or clean a bathroom or do laundry.

So what was up with the domestic euphoria?

You could chalk it up to stress and navigating a complicated lifestyle. Which is code for: juggling so much shit at all times that the simple act of successfully fluffing a pillow has the ability to make one feel like a whole and accomplish adult.

Or perhaps maybe, just maybe, I am learning to savor the small moments. (That coupled with all the years of brainwashing from my obsessively compulsive neat freak of a husband.) 

I dunno.

But it is happening more and more often.

I’m getting craftier. I pin more clever life hacks. Food Network is becoming more frequently watched and I no longer blanch at the thought of organizing my closet.

Perhaps a trip to the therapist is in order?