We spend a lot of time on the kitchen floor.
When Suzanna started crawling, we barricaded off an area with chairs and padded the floor with colorful spongey squares. When she started climbing the chairs, we replaced them with baby gates. She soon began moving the plastic fences and slipping around them, so they too went on with time.
The encased sewing machine that held the gates in place remains awkwardly, unnoticed as we step around it day by day. The colorful interlocking pads still line half the kitchen. Unused baby toys still lie in a heap in the corner.
Even after the hours of taking turns playing and reading on the floor with our girl while the other cooks or washes dishes, when she’s down for a weekend nap and we’re enjoying a quiet hour together, we find ourself back on the kitchen floor reading cookbooks and gardening books and jotting notes for our future plans.
Maybe it’s because there are no table and chairs in a place where we won’t disturb our sleeping daughter. Maybe it’s because we’re finding an excuse to avoid looming projects. Probably, though, we find ourselves back on the kitchen floor for the fondness of a passing time. This won’t carry forward to our new place and new life for myriad reasons, except in pieces.
And hard and stained and tired as it is, the kitchen floor represents a stillness and history that we secretly cherish.