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Rainbows on the rug

November 18th, 2003 · No Comments


The other day the girls and I were having a “Tidy Time” in the living room. I set the timer for 10 minutes and the goal was for us to focus on cleaning up the toys and mess efficiently. This is one of the principles I had learned from FlyLady (see previous post today).

While we were cleaning, the girls pointed out to me that there was a rainbow on the living room rug. They were excited, pointing: “Look Mom!” There it was, a square of vibrant colors, from indigo to a bright red and vermilion, on our dull carpet.

I saw the rainbow, created by the sunshine passing through the glass on our coffee table. But we were doing a Tidy Time. It was only 10 minutes of cleaning and then we’d have plenty of time to look at rainbows on the carpet. I felt we should practice keeping focus and efficiency, and then enjoy the pretty prism.

As the timer ticked, and we cleaned, though, the rainbow began to vanish. First the lovely indigo disappeared. Then the other colors began to weaken. The girls saw it too. They told me the rainbow was going away. It was going away fast.

Then I realized that even in the few minutes we were spending on cleaning, the sun was moving, and soon the rainbow would be gone completely. So I stopped. I let the girls stop. And we stared at the colors on the carpet. We took a longer look. By the time we had lunch a little while later, the rainbow was gone.

Looking at the blank carpet, so drab without its rainbow colors, I realized that there are times for being tidy, times for working toward a goal with blinders, times for efficiency and endurance. But it takes wisdom to know when it is a time to work, and when it is a time to enjoy the fleeting rainbows on the rug. May I, as a mom, and as a wife, woman and writer, have that wisdom, Lord.

Tags: motherhood