The other night, as I was cleaning the upstairs for a weekend guest, I looked at a section of our carpet and audibly sighed at the shape it is in. While I’m not a huge fan of carpet, it has its positives. It was a cushion for my oldest son who would dive head-first out of his crib at night. It’s a great base for a ‘pallet’ when the boys want to sleep in mom and dad’s room. It provides a warmth on the second floor of our home that other floors just can’t offer. As I vacuumed, I couldn’t help but notice that almost all of the carpet upstairs is still in great shape with the exception of that one piece. It’s a small section probably 3 feet long by 2 feet wide and as I bent down to feel this section of carpet with my hands, I realized it is so worn down that there’s barely any carpet left at all.
For a moment, I couldn’t figure out why this particular spot was so much more worn than the rest, but then it came to me.
This 3×2 section of carpet is the entrance and exit to our bedroom door. Outside of our bedroom door are the three most important rooms in the house. They belong to our boys. I started thinking about how many times we have walked back and forth over or simply stood on that patch of carpet in our bedroom door over the past 10 years and this is what I remembered.
I remembered a seven-year-old boy who was still feeling insecure over his parent’s divorce, dragging his pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals across that patch of carpet as he’d ask, “Can I sleep in here?” before he’d make his pallet on the floor next to our bed.
I remembered the cry of a sick child in the middle of the night and rushing across that patch of carpet to take him a trash can, a warm cloth, or a dose of medicine.
I remembered the first night our infant slept in his crib in his own room. Did I hear him? Is he breathing? I’d stand in the doorway on that patch of carpet listening for any noise, any reassurance that he was ok.
I remembered the first day of a big boy bed. How many times did those little feet run across that patch of carpet into our room and how many times did we walk him back over that carpet back to his room for another snuggle or bedtime story.
I remembered every night since we brought our third son home. Lord knows we have worn that patch of carpet down to nubs since he was born. Back and forth every night just to give him a pat of reassurance that we are here, and he can go back to sleep.
I remembered the first time our oldest son rode in a car with his friend behind the wheel. I stood in my doorway on that patch of carpet until his bedroom door shut and I could finally sleep peacefully knowing he was home.
That patch of carpet has held on about as long as it can and eventually it will be gone. We will replace it with something that suits our home and our tastes better, but I may have to save that old worn-out patch of carpet. I’m kind of proud that the most worn-out spot in our house is the direct path from our room to our boys’ rooms and vice-versa.