This article is an opinion.

My one-year-old son has developed an unlikely affection for brooms.

It’s quite odd. What started out as a cute exploration of our cleaning supplies has quickly become a dream-come-true for me and my wife, Kelly. He loves to sweep, though he doesn’t actually sweep. Typically, he grips the broom by the handle with both hands and pushes it back and forth, sometimes only one hand, smiling with elation from ear to ear the entire time. 

Eli’s love for “his” broom is likened to Linus van Pelt and his security blanket.

A wrinkle of irony in Eli’s sweeping affection — he is the epitome of a messy eater. As much as he loves to clean, he may love to play with his food more. I suppose there are worse combinations.

This past weekend I had to pack up his high chair for a trip to his Nana and Poppy’s house. As I picked up the chair, ready to carry it off to the car, an inconceivable amount of crumbs hit the floor.

It was like a disgusting twister of Gerber puffs and chocolate fudge pop tarts had blown through our dining room — little white sprinkles strewn everywhere. I thought the rascal had been stuffing food under the seat cover.

Without thinking, I let out a terrible “oh my goodness,” full of sorrow and frustration. I was going to have to clean it up — or so I thought.

Not even one second after the mess was made, Eli darted for ... you guessed it ... the broom. 

Once in his little hands, he looked at the mess, then waddled over to me, grinned and gestured me to take it.

I almost laughed until I cried.

Our little Eli is a sweet and smart kid, and I’m so proud he seems to enjoy cleaning. Here’s to hoping he won’t grow out of it.                   

Taylor Beck is managing editor for The Reporter. He can be reached at

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