Sometimes I daydream about what a kitchen could really be... not philosophically or anything, just the plain, bare-bones wood and tile, ceramic and stainless steel make up of it.
It could be spacious, with pine flooring that shines from the sunlight streaming in through large, french paned windows. It could have countertops that wrap and roam for miles around the perimeter, like a freshly mown path that just waits to be trampled on with kneading and chopping, hot baking pans and bowls of ingredients, and maybe three or four little bums that want an aerial view.
It could have sinks like bathtubs, so deep you have to bend and reach with your fingertips to scour the gleaming white enamel. It could have cupboards that reach to the sky (which I could reach, because I am just that tall) and pantries that you could get lost in (or lose someone in). I even know someone that has two ovens, stacked right on top of each other. A Thanksgiving Day dream.
And best of all, or sort of best because really all those things seem like "bests" to me, it could have a large table with six or even eight chairs gathered around it, that sits by a window and gathers bodies from wherever they wander and lets them join you, right there, where all the cooking and talking and making and pouring and all manner of wonderful things takes place.
It really is just a dream though, isn't it? I know some of you have all those things... and it doesn't mean your life is rosy or your family close, or the struggle to do housework vanishes down the drain of that bottomless sink.
Our kitchen here is nice, though it reminds me of cooking in a camper sometimes, like those old pop-up Jayco's my family spent our growing years wandering around the country in. But you get used to what you have, and I know this has been true for me (outside of daydreaming).
On days like today though, when I have twenty things going at once and everything is fighting for space (and losing), I can get a little twitchy. But eventually everything finds it place, and gets its turn in the oven, or its run through the doll house size sink. And we have also managed to learn to shop a bit differently, which means cooking a bit differently, and maybe planning a bit differently too. My kids may not all be able to land a seat on the counter at the same time (which really isn't necessary or sanitary anyway), but those same counters are also low enough (think mid thigh) that peering over them is made a bit easier.
And the table I think would bring everyone together? It likely would, but small houses can make for strong love too.
And cookie dough stuck to your heel can make you wake out of a daydream...