After she had vacuumed the carpet and gotten on her knees with a stain remover, spraying freely on the dark spots, the little cloth foaming with her scrubbing.
After she had taken out the organics to the big bin in the garage, wiping the wet spot the paper “Bag to Earth” had left on the counter.
After she had filled up the dishwasher, put the detergent in, and turn it on.
After she had done the other dishes by hand, sprayed a bleach cleaner into the sink, and cleaned, dried, and put away a whole miscellanea of utensils and kitchen stuff.
After she had started to put away the vegetables in the fridge and had seen the rotting basil that was purchased with such great optimism a couple of weeks ago.
After she had thrown away the basil and had seen the also rotting dill, a layer of mold already building around its delicate stems, another victim of momentary supermarket ambition.
After she had put away the groceries and pushed the bag of bread between the instant mash potato boxes so it didn’t fall and grunted in frustration because the pantry needs cleaning and reorganizing, again.
After she had taken a load from the washer and put it into the dryer and put another load in, cold water only—always—of course.
After she had taken the already mud-stained shoelaces from her son’s new shoes—an unfortunate fall at his new middle school’s grassy field—and she had washed them in the bathroom sink.
After she had put away all the clothes and had done an inventory of the drawers to remove all the ones that needed donating.
After she had cleaned all the tables, wiped the sticky milk spots, and collected another layer of cat hair.
After she had dusted all the blinds in the living room and then realized after she went to clean them, that the kitchen blinds have become stained with hardened dust, the removal of which will require a few hours of dedicated attention.
After she had swept the balcony, a lost battle, really, because the architects of this 1990s townhouse complex decided in their incredible wisdom to give it only half a roof.
After she had cleaned the cat litter box and refilled the cat’s bowl.
After she had swept and mopped the floor, being careful to go around her son’s 10-year-old baby rug, taken out of the closet and thrown on the living room since the lockdown started and now a comforting space where he still sits to play and watch videos on his phone.
After she had finished watching the movie she had started to watch the night before with her son, blanket out of the sofa storage and snacks too in a bowl.
After she had sent him out to play with his new neighbourhood friends and his cousins, a tiny small bubble of fun that had built during the pandemic.
After she had cleaned her desk, put all the work papers away, and turned the computer on.
Then, and only then, she sat down to write.
“A 21st Century Mom of One Tries to Write”
“After she had vacuumed the carpet…