‘On the floor’ 

Week 30: ‘on the floor’ 
I had my nieces over to stay at my house a few weekends ago and the spare mattress was still on the floor to accommodate the sleepover. Although no one actually used it on the night as they chose to sleep together in the King single bed in the room. I was amazed that it was still there on the floor. No one had moved it or put it back in it’s original place in the games room. People just walked over it to get to things and why not it was a comfy landing after climbing out of bed. It was always a job for somebody else and I was that somebody today. I had a day to myself in a quiet house. I moved the foam mattress off the floor and took it back up to the games room. Before I completed the task I took this photo of the mattress on the floor in what looks like a messy room. 
Looking at the mattress on the floor mixed emotions rush to the mind. Triggers of the good, bad and in between resurface as I can picture moments over time when we’ve had a house full of people all trying to get the best bed in the house, and it always seemed that the youngest, most agile child draw the short straw to sleep on the floor. Sleeping on the floor with your kids, may bring out the child in you…but unfortunately the aches and pains the next morning remind you that you aren’t a child anymore. There’s nothing more warming than to see lots of arms and legs all entwined together as dreams unfold and the blankets and pillows doing a bad job of offering support and warmth to everyone. There’s usually someone stuck out on the edge of the mattress on the floor without the comforts of pillows and blankets. 
We’ve always seemed to have an ‘open house’ policy as my children grew up and I liked the fact that our house was the one that everyone wanted to stay over at and never wanted to leave. I loved the noise and laughter that bounced off the walls and echoed upstairs. Our cats would find a way to wedge in between the people on the floor and snuggle down and bask in the extra warmth of body heat. Times like these have been quiet of late. I’m sure it’s the natural order of things that happen as your children grow up and they start to move out. The last big sleepover wasn’t that long ago although on a calendar and in days it seems a lifetime ago. Nearly two years ago just short of a month our house was full. Full of family and friends of Jacob’s as we wrapped him up with love for the rest of his days. The ‘open house’ policy was in full force. During the day a large queen sized mattress leaned up against the wall in the hallway and by night it became a sacred space where people would gather and watch movies, reminisce and just ‘be’ in the company of our beautiful brown eyed boy. Luckily it was summer so there was no need for blankets. The soft hum of the ceiling fan kept the mass of bodies cool in the family room. Not one ounce of space was left to put a foot on the floor. There was so much love in one room. I’m forever grateful and blessed for Jacob’s friends offering their time 24/7 to be with our family and Jacob for the last month of his life. They helped him during the night too offering him drinks and helping him turn over in bed and fluffing his pillows, making him smile and listening to his fears. The mattress was still there on the floor after Jacob’s celebration of life and I’m so glad his friends still wanted to feel close and be at our home after all they’d been through together. 

I know the house isn’t quite finished with sleepovers just yet. The house is just in hibernation for when the young nieces come over and grandchildren are born. The floor will be covered up with mattresses again and the sweet sound of laughter and giggles will flow through the air. Looking at the mattress on the floor in a messy room doesn’t bother me. I may not have the tidiest house on the street but what’s more important to me is that people feel comfortable here, regardless of the mess. It’s not the ‘home’ that the people love but it’s the ‘life’ that is lived in it. 

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