It’s a rarity, but sure enough, before my very eyes, there was a clean room. What was left was in its proper place and orderly… but it wasn’t always like that.

Wars were waged over that room. I was sometimes on the front line, but it was usually my wife doing battle with our youngest in the clean bedroom battles.

Over the years I’d pitch in to help our youngest get back into a clean room status, but it never lasted more than a couple blinks.

There were plenty of frustrations on both sides, a fair amount of tears too, but mostly from my daughter, a few from my wife, but none from yours truly. Not a hint of inclement eye weather… back then…

For the last two-plus months, we’ve been pushing our youngest to clean up the room that looked like a stranger happened by and tossed a hand grenade.

I offered to help like I did when she was younger, but she pushed back, turned me down flat, told me she’d have it cleaned in time.

I used to wear the crown of procrastination but found in time that it was too cumbersome to be under. I withdrew as the king of procrastination. In fact, I became the spokesperson for anybody that participated in the art of waiting till the last minute to get things done.

I shared my insight on said subject with my daughter, but could see I was having about as much impact on her as a tear in the rain.

I get it… I know first hand the power of genetics; headstrong, stubborn, learning the pot is hot by grabbing a handful of it, rather that grasping the truth in the honest words shared by someone who cares.

As the war of a clean room waged by us on our daughter approached its eighteenth anniversary, tensions were high. Emotions were becoming so deep we were swimming in them.

Finally, two days before D-day, she started to do her hand washables. “Better late than never.” I thought.

There were still the bombs of threats fired from our side and the typical sarcastic responses from a young adult in the days between high school and college.

Come Friday she was still trudging through the wreckage. On Sunday, D-day, the youngest called in a backup; her sister who’s famous for her organizational skills.

By Sunday evening the long war was finally over, the fighting in the early stages of transforming into memories.

I stood at the bedroom door that up till that day was always purposefully closed. I gazed in, almost shocked. Not so much by a clean room, but the feeling of it.

a clean room

a clean room

We were victorious… It was a clean room… but she was gone.

I thought of Solomon, “To everything, there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven”… including the battle of a clean room.

Something is always gained… and lost… with the coming and goings of the seasons…