The Joy of it All

“Your place looks amazing!” I gawked as I entered my daughter’s Atlanta, Mid-Town apartment. The transformation was almost supernatural. Sarah had explained to me about a book titled, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but I was skeptical.

To put it in farming terms, let’s just say Sarah wasn’t ever the cleanest hen in the coop. Neither am I.

So when I entered the immaculate apartment, sparsely furnished, with a place for everything, (which wasn’t much) I couldn’t believe it.

Sarah explained. “I read it to David, and together we went through everything in our apartment. I’ve cut my wardrobe in half since I was only wearing half, and our important papers all fit in one bin. I don’t hold on to anything that doesn’t bring me joy.”

“Well, I’m impressed,” I said making my way out to the car. “Let me get my stuff and put it away.” I was to babysit my grandson for a few days while Sarah and David celebrated their anniversary.

“Hey Mom,” she hesitated. “Could you make sure everything is neat and clean when you leave?” She grinned.

“I’ve heard those words before.” I unpacked my toiletries. I always left a few of them at her apartment for my convenience.

“Where’s my toothbrush.”

“Um, I think I threw it out.”

“Okay, do you have an extra?”

She scampered away and came back with a clean one. “And where are my slippers?” I asked while looking under the cabinet where I always kept them.

“They didn’t bring me joy,” she said sheepishly.

I stopped. “You threw them away?” I paused for effect. “It’s a good thing I didn’t read this book while you were a teenager.”

We both smiled, because we are mother and daughter, yes. But now, we’re also friends.

Even though she did throw my slippers away.

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