The Joy Of Making A Mess
For me, piece of mind needs a neat tidy space. It has been that way for a long time (even more so, recently). I am the person that cannot go to bed unless the house is picked up and things are put in their place (though, truth be told, sometimes, that place is a junk drawer or closet;). This being said, I am also a person who does not love to clean. To balance this, I have become a “clean as I go gal”. If I put it away as I am done, I will only have to put one thing away. If I leave it for later, I will have to clean the whole house at the same time. When you have children, being like this can be difficult.
I also love to have activities for kids to do. Making something, cooking something, experimenting… The list goes on and on. Most of these things can become very messy, especially working with kids. Many times, as my kids worked on their activity, I would be with them talking and cleaning as they went. Activities like smashing toys out of ice cubes with a mallet or dino/gem digging in the kitchen, make a huge mess. But, as long as the kids were creating and I was keeping the mess under control, we all had fun.
Today, though, I am thinking back and the activities that I remember being the most fun and the memories that stay with me and make me smile, are not the ones that the mess was under control. They are the times when I looked over and the kids (and kitchen) were covered from head to toe in paint or flour and the walls, floors and ceilings were covered. It is those times, that I can remember every detail of the moment: the activity, the time of day, who was there and even what they were wearing. Mostly, I remember the laughing and smiles and the expression on the kids faces knowing what a mess they made but how worth it it was and the expression when they realized that Mommy wasn’t mad. It is in those moments, standing in the mess that was so out of control I didn’t even know where to start and didn’t care because my kids were happy, that all was right with the world.
As I look around my house today, it is not the neat and tidy rooms that make me smile. It is the dents in the wall (refrigerator, car doors…), the smudges on the windows that we now refuse to clean and the scratches in the wood floors and tables all made by my kids. Those are the signs that we have lived in this space. They are the marks that make it not just a house but our home.
So, while I still have a need to control my own mess and hold on to some piece of mind, I try to keep my eyes open to the big picture and appreciate that life can be messy but it makes us who we are and that is pretty amazing.