Nostalgia in The Notch In The Floor


As my children get older, I find myself finding a bit of mom nostalgia in the strangest of places. Sometimes the stupidest and weirdest things will cause me to tear up because it reminds me of my young mom life, long forgotten. Recently I was running late, and right before heading out the door, I wrote in my small writing notebook, “the notch in the floor.” Sounds strange, right? How could a dent in my kitchen floor cause nostalgia? 

The notch on the kitchen floor stands for something; it represents my life as a mom.

When I moved into my house over ten years ago, my children were six, four, and one year old. My youngest wasn’t quite walking yet, still in the stage of crawling mostly and noticing anything and everything on the floors. She immediately discovered a large notch on the kitchen floor.

The listing of my house described my hardwood floors as gleaming, and boy, did they shine! My house wasn’t new, but the floors had been refinished not too long before I moved in, and I loved those gleaming floors. This was my first house with hardwood floors, and the imperfections and beauty of them were a highlight of my dream home, the two-inch notch in the floor included. The notch emphasized the natural wood and the not-so-perfect look I wanted. I was a young mom in this new-to-me house; I gleamed with imperfection and beauty too.

My baby turned into a walking toddler, and that notch on the floor was a fun place to stick her finger. The hole collected crumbs and Cheerios. The broom could never clean it out, and the vacuum failed too; that notch in the floor required extra attention to get cleaned. I could always count on my baby girl to help. Some time went by, and a puppy entered our home. He was too excited to help keep that notch in the floor clean for momma.

As time passed, I would find Play-Doh in the notch, Goldfish crackers fit perfectly in there, and along the way, beads and glitter filled that hole in my kitchen floor. The notch on the floor symbolized each stage of motherhood and childhood we were in.

Last week as I was about to run out the door, I had to stop and tie my sneaker. My foot went down on the floor, and as I squatted to tie my shoe, I noticed the notch right there beside me. It was as though it was looking back at me, filled with dust bunnies and likely some of my hair (which seems to be everywhere these days), telling me how lonely it has been with no small children to fill it up the last couple of years.

Although we still regularly eat Cheerios and Goldfish, they are less likely to end up all over the floor. Gone are the days of bead and glitter crafts. Any Play-Doh left in my house is likely all dried up by now. The notch on my kitchen floor made me sad as mom nostalgia crept in on that random afternoon, and I scribbled my one sentence down in my notebook before dashing off and forgetting about it.

Right now, my hardwood floors are far from gleaming. Years of chairs scuffing back and forth, feet walking miles around the kitchen, and many mops attempting to keep the floors clean and shiny have contributed to some lackluster looks and an empty notch. My worn-out floors are proof of life, filled with memories, laughter, and tears.

The notch on the floor isn’t empty; it’s loaded with my reflections, my DNA, and all of my heart. 

Have you found mom nostalgia in unexpected places?


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