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Footnotes: Thoughts from the margins of a mom's life


Sloppy little kingdom


83454839

April 2014

Every parent needs a place where they can close the door and just relax. I imagine some parents have elaborate on-suite bathrooms where they while away the hours soaking in a tub. Others likely luxuriate in some kind cozy sitting room, perhaps with a fireplace crackling in the background. I know these spaces exist, because I've seen them on HGTV. For me? I'll take my basement. No, it's not actually a finished basement, technically. And there are no spa treatments or aromatherapy. My basement, like most basements, serves multiple purposes: off-season clothing storage, Christmas decoration depository, guest room, laundry room…and Mom's little getaway.

I come down to the basement, snap on the lamps, gaze upon my always-in-progress laundry, and settle atop the guest bed with my laptop perched on a pillow. Black coffee is next to me in a Valentine's Day mug. I survey my surroundings and I'm enormously grateful. Grateful I know where the Christmas CDs are, and where I can find all those mix-tapes I made with friends during high school. Grateful for the pictures of my family and friends perched around the room in old frames. Grateful for the wooden desk that we will move to my son's room when he gets old enough. And grateful for the peace and quiet!

I love this sloppy, little kingdom with all its layers of my past and my future. And though I'm at once its Queen and its Scullery Maid, I'll embrace both jobs wholeheartedly – and try to guide the little people in my court as best I can. I feel reoriented, typing down here in my basement retreat, more sure of who I am and where I'm going. I could spend hours down here, and maybe I should. I might be a better person for it. And I'll go upstairs, really, in just a minute. I just need a few more sips of coffee.


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