09 January 2019


No one ever told me how much I'd love the mess.

I'm a self-proclaimed neat freak minimalist, and married to one. Our home has always been clean and simple. Tiled floors, family photos on the walls, the bare minimum of knick-knacks. Only furniture and appliances that we love and use allowed--there are no 8-year old waffle irons still in their original box hiding in our closets. Actually, we don't have closets.

But now, upending the little world we've grown so familiar with is a toddling baby who never stops moving, who crawls with a car in one hand and walks while waving a block in the air. Toys live in my living room on a nearly permanent basis.

I didn't think I'd love the mess.

Everything in my house has a proper place and is always returned to that place in a prompt manner. Kitchen appliances are stored in the cupboard until used. My journaling supplies have their box. Angel's running shoes (in various stages of decay, depending on whether they are used for races, training, or rainy days) are lined neatly in the laundry area, and I make sure to finish and throw out an old bottle of soap before opening a new one.

But when my baby boy is sleeping and I see his wooden blocks scattered from one end of my living room to the other, I smile. When I sweep duplos out from under the couch, I'm in a bit of awe that this is my home--not someone else's. Every evening I'm down on my knees, packing the wooden blocks into their container and the plastic blocks into theirs. Mess lives here, now, and I love him so very much.

He'll learn to clean up his toys someday....and he'll make even bigger messes along the way. Odds are, he'll probably get in trouble an uncountable number of times for making messes that are none too easy to clean up. I'll get my "battle stories" of cupboards colored on, dishes broken, cushions covered in juice (red juice, obviously. It has to be red). I'll wonder why he's careless and he'll wonder why I believe things should always be returned to their assigned location.

Is it weird that I'm excited that I may just have the chance to tell such stories? Right now, I love his muddy feet after we take him out to walk in the grass. His zucchini-covered face and the high chair that needs a thorough wiping after every meal. The empty cardboard boxes that once would have been recycled right away now serve as temporary yet new and exciting toys. It's messy, and sometimes I can't believe that my prayers for this little person to mess up my pristine home were answered.

I didn't deserve this mess, but, oh, I love him so.
Unknown said...

I love this! What a good attitude to have. I sometimes struggle with the mess, but I remind myself that those toys scattered all over make my babies so happy and that in turn makes me so happy. Thank you for the reminder.

StephTheBookworm said...

What a wonderful perspective! I love it! My kiddos definitely mess up the house and it drives me bonkers. This is a better way to look at it!