Friday, July 4, 2008

Children are like White Carpeting

Children are like white carpeting.

In the beginning, when it is brand new, it is clean and fresh and smells nice. We are very careful not to get it dirty because it's NEW! and DELICATE! We love to just look at the white carpeting because it is so pretty, and we just KNOW it was the right decision to get it.

Before too long, though, we realize that having white carpeting is much more work than we'd expected. There is lots of new rules about the carpeting. We tell people who visit our house that when they get near the carpeting they must take special care. We are almost afraid of offending others about it, but after all it's our VERY SPECIAL CARPETING. Everyone says how beautiful our carpeting is and we agree because, of course, it is.

Inevitably, though, something happens to the carpeting. Nothing major, mind you, but a small mar none the less. We clean it up as best we can, but for the rest of our time with the carpeting we will always see that small reminder of the time an accident happened. We cover it with an area rug, or a piece of furniture, but when that small mar is exposed, we are reminded. But over time, the mar is no longer a sad reminder of something unfortunate; rather it calls up a memory of a time so long ago when the carpeting was fresh and nearly new. The white carpeting continues to get stains and spills and dirt and no matter how much we try to protect the carpeting, life happens to it all the same.

Years go by, and as the carpeting loses its brightness to the untrained eye, we do not notice any dulling in the least. We see the carpet as it was when it was installed. It still looks as beautiful today as it did 18 years ago.

Then, one day, the carpet starts to pull up from the floor and lose its foothold. It seems that it is time for the carpeting to go. But we're not quite ready for our house without the white carpeting, so we try to keep things the same as long as possible.

Finally we realize that the carpeting has had a good run in our house and that it's time to let go. We help the carpeting movers take the carpeting out of the rooms and we watch as it is hauled away. It is a little bit sad, thinking about all the important events that went on with the carpeting: birthdays, family time together, slumber parties, forts built with pillows and blankets.

When the day comes for us to get new floor covering, we try to decide: Hardwood? Laminate? Tile? In the end, we decide that we really love the white carpeting. And before you know it, there is a brand new white carpeting in our house, only this one is a blend of the carpeting we had before and a new fiber. It is so special and beautiful, we know we will try to protect it even more than the last white carpet.

Life will happen, and we will be right there, maybe a little wiser this time.


Bridgett said...

Ok, this made me laugh and cry at the same time. I'm bloglining you right now.

Bridgett said...

Like I said before. This is the reason I decided to keep reading (I'd read a few posts, kept remembering to come back on occasion, but this was the tipping point.