SOL 22: thankful

McKenna has matured so much in the last year. She is helpful now. She wants to learn how to cook. She treats her baby brother as if he’s the best thing since sliced bread. She even planned a project to earn money to purchase hats and gloves for those less fortunate than herself. She talks about all the things she wants to be when she grows up. The list is lengthy but includes being a mom, nurse, teacher, veterinarian, artist, doctor for babies, writer, scientist and about a million more things.

Her creativity is endless. She’s always saving boxes, packaging, brightly colored paper scraps and the like for some project she working on. If you are looking for the scissors or duck tape, they are both probably in her room. It’s a blessing and a curse. I have been working to kill the clutter and she’s swiping strawberry carton from the trash can because she can use it. Her hoarding ways makes my anxiety skyrocket.

So it came as no surprise, when I entered her room yesterday morning, that it would look like a tornado had flown through it. Every bin from her clothing tower was open with shirts and PJs hanging out. The closet door was ajar and I could see the remnants of the last three times she cleaned her room stuffed inside. The shelf behind her raised bed was overflowing with trinkets and works in progress. The whole place sets my nerves on edge. So she set to work picking it up knowing the cleaning lady would be here in the morning.

We know we are very privileged to be able to afford a luxury as extravagant as a cleaning lady. I am so thankful for the time it gifts back to me with my family. This is her first week with us and we didn’t really know what to expect. Regardless, we completed our pre-cleaning lady rituals of putting away all the things, pulling out fresh linens, and tossing the oven parts into the dishwasher. My kids know that it is not her job to put their stuff away when she is here. But when I checked McKenna’s room, it was obvious that she stashed all her out-of-place items behind, under and in-between everything and anything. We worked on it together making it tidy before turning in for by the the night.

This evening as she was getting into her PJs, she commented about how much she liked her room. She mentioned it looked like she had more space to play. When I peaked in, it was easy to see why. The cleaning lady had organized everything. She even took the time to climb up onto McKenna’s super high bed to make it neater than it has ever been made before. I specifically told her that since it was a pain, there was no need. And while she was up there, dusted and set out each of her doodads to be displayed. McKenna was over the moon.

an awesome bed with a club house underneath—absolute PITA for changing the sheets and marking the bed
Mom. Mom!  My bed. She climbed up my bed. Look at my pillows and stuffies. She put all my books in the basket. All my blankets are perfect. I just love it. And I’m so thankful.I need to tell her thank you next time she’s here and I don’t have to be at school. 

Cue my mom heart bursting with pride. She finally recognized someone’s hard work and was thankful for it. Kids are innately self-center. They don’t naturally think to thank others—especially for something that is not tangible. She asked if she could send our new cleaning lady a message telling her she really liked her room. I certainly wasn’t going to argue with that.

And McKenna was right. My room was amazing, too. My shelf behind my bed had been organized. All the books were now in descending size order rather than just squeezed in wherever there was room. The lip balm I lost weeks ago was neatly placed in a basket with my hand cream and other lip balms. Cellphone cords were meticulously riled up. I has sent a thank you earlier this afternoon. But I need to make sure I tell her in person, as well. It’s so much more sincere. Plus, I have two additional boys watching who could benefit from a bit of gratitude modeled for them to see.

I am writing for the 15th annual Slice of Life challenge presented by Two Writing Teachers.


  1. God, I miss the one year we had ours. Just coming home to that cleaning lady hath cometh smell was amazeballs. I miss Olga. And yes, that was her real name. The pre-cleaning lady you’ve got going is hilarious. Glad Mc is joining in finally in on all that fun!


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