When I look around my house, I breath in the clutter. I take in the puzzle pieces covering my dusty hard wood floors. The cast of Paw Patrol napping on the couch. This mis-matched doll outfits thrown across the rug. The big bright yellow tractors that are hauling random plastic play food to market. I see the sprinkling of glitter and now dried glue covering my kitchen table, and small bits of play dough on the floor beneath. I breath it in, I smile. What I see are memories, not messes.
You see what my kids did this morning is make memories, not messes. They played in a world of pretend. They experienced far away worlds, they dug with their tractors in the big sand pit of the family room rug, they made princess crowns with magic fairy dust.
I want them to look back and remember all the fun together, the experiences of playing and crafting with mom. I want them to make a mess, to have the freedom to pretend. I want them to use their imagination. I want them to spend time together, growing, no matter the fights that it will entail.
Messes can be cleaned up, floors can be washed, glue can be chipped off the table, toys can be picked up. However, I can’t replace those memories.
When my kids are older I want them to remember the fun, the craziness our house was. The exploring, the wild moments, and yes, the messes we made. I want them to remember how crazy it was when we swam inside in the play pool, or painted our bodies with pudding. I want them to giggle recalling those crazy days where we made forts all day and ate lunch under the cover of our jungle tent.
Those are the things that are important. The things that they will remember. They won’t remember the clean house, or that your throw pillows matched. They will just remember using the pillows to escape the hot lava of the volcano.
I look around our messy house, as my tiny explores sleep upstairs. I look at the mess, I think about what I would rather be doing than cleaning up the evidence of the day. However, I also think about that big hug the toddler gave me, as she exclaimed “MOM you’re the best!”. Yep, it was worth it.
I see the memories of a fun childhood, not a mess.