Every day it stares me in the face. It mocks me with its splotches and marks and imperfections. It follows me into almost every room. And even when it doesn't follow me, it never leaves. I can see it out of the corner of my eye. I can feel its presence. It lies in wait. And sooner or later, it is underfoot once again.
When we first saw Guido, I felt deep in my heart that it was the house for us. I knew when I looked at the website. I got that fluttery, warm excitement you feel when you first fall hard for someone -- or something. And in person it was even more incredible. Our dream house. One aspect was not ideal but it was not a deal-breaker for us -- the wall-to-wall carpet. Ecru-hued berber carpet. In fact, at the time I figured it was perfect for Q to learn how to crawl and then walk. He could take some tumbles and the carpet wouldn't be too painful for him. Heck, I grew up in a carpeted home. It was cozy to me. Hardwood floors were beautiful, but they were, well, hard. And my big-headed baby could use a little extra padding in life. What I didn't anticipate was just how quickly the stains would build up. Seriously, I see a new stain everyday. And we don't wear shoes around the house! But, we do have a toddler who tends to hide bits of food in the crevices of his fingers and toes. We do eat in the family room sometimes. We're not as anal as we should be about it. I try not to let it bother me. But I do feel ashamed that we have been in the house for only 10 months, and this brand new carpet looks 5 years old.
I tell myself that we'll do something about this mess once we're done with toddlers. But then I'm sure older kids can be just as stain-producing. T thinks the answer is to buy our own steam cleaner. Maybe he's right. Maybe one day we'll change the flooring. Maybe we'll just move the furniture around to hide the stains. Like the other day when I flipped the couch cushions over. Voila!
But in the meantime, this marred carpet has become more of a mirror than a floor. Revealing my flaws, reveling in my foibles. It reminds me on regular basis that I'm not one of those Martha Stewart types. That I may never be a domestic goddess. That I could be a better mom. That I'm lazy. That my work ethic needs some working on. That I don't deserve certain luxuries. That I'm riddled with Catholic guilt. Stop talking to me, dirty carpet! Your stains are like tiny daggers to my soul! Or like the uncut nails of a certain toddler on my arm.
But really, I don't want to be like Martha. That's not me. If my carpet is a window to my soul, then you'll see who I am next time you come over. Just look down. I have some scars. I have some sunspots. Sometimes I conceal. Sometimes I don't. I try to be my best self. And sometimes I don't. Real talk.