My husband and I joke about our “young kid sofa.” We have no plans to replace it any time soon, though you can see the living done on it plainly. Its plaid is impervious to root beer, playstation tournaments and the occasional family movie picnic. I don’t mean it is Teflon-coated. It is just that the spills and worn areas are starting to make a pattern of their own.
I joke about it, but a beloved home fully lived in by young people cannot be a “no touch” home. Most of our spaces are “clean but comfortable.” There are not a lot of things that are off limits, and especially in the rooms where we spend the most time, we are not too worried about the surfaces. They’re either extremely durable or replaceable.
This does not mean that our kids have no respect for our belongings, or that we’ll never have anything “nice.” As our boys have grown, they have a longer chore list, there are fewer spills, and we work together to take care of our home. But a home with things we can touch, snuggle, munch on, where we can put our feet up, values the living and the people who live within.
I can imagine, in fewer years than I’d like to count, I’ll have that new sofa and a swept floor will stay that way for more than a moment, and I’ll miss those tennis shoes and cries of “Touchdown!” So for now I’ll take the crumbs and footprints and the hugs and laughter with them.