My hands almost scalded from hot soapy water.
I swish the rag.
Running, soapy water pours back into the bucket as I wring the rag practically dry. A technique I learned long ago cleaning million dollar houses one carefree, youthful summer spent thousands of miles from home.
The music that was suppose to make this task seem more joyful, has failed.
Wiping sweat from my head and grime from the kitchen floor, I look up locking eyes with her.
A wide eyed innocent being, curiously looking onward.
My, I must be a sight.
"Mommy, will you teach me to wash the floor?" my oldest daughter inquires shyly.
"Seriously?" I ask.
"Yeah, it looks like fun."
Dunking the rag deep down to the bottom of the bucket, I rinse.
Steam rises up my arms, warming my shoulders and face.
When was this task, the one I avoid except when absolutely necessary, actually fun for me?
I think back to when my mother patiently taught me how to scrub.
"No, Dorie, the water must be hotter."
I thought my hands would melt.
Now, my own water feels just as hot.
"Always start on one side and move toward the exit. Don't clean yourself into a corner."
"Scrub harder, or the dirt won't come off."
Harder and harder I scrub, until clenched knuckles ached, and dirt and grime diminished.
"Be sure to rinse your rag often."
Scrub, swish, rinse, wring; working my way out of the room.
Working my way into a new chore.
For the many years since, I have scrubbed floors by hand.
"A mop will do the job." My husband tells me.
Yeah, but not as well. I know first hand.
"Mommy..." her voice interrupts my thoughts.
"Yes." My hands still swirling the rag rise from the waters. Wringing, twisting the rag as water cascades into the bucket.
"If you want to, I will."
Later, I ask, "Was it fun?"
She laughs, "Yeah, it was."
And merrily she goes on with her day.