Ok, be honest -- how many times have you looked at the messes left behind by your kids and thought, "Ugh. Why do I always have to be the one to do everything? Can't they pick up after themselves?"
Yeah, I'm guilty of it too. It's only natural for moms to get so caught up in the things that aren't perfect in our daily lives -- that we fail to see the beauty in the clutter and disorganization.
Earlier this morning, I walked into our mudroom and tripped over my 6-year-old son's tiny sneaker. I looked down at it and immediately cracked a smile -- because I was just so incredibly happy to see that little shoe lying there.
And right after that, I literally looked up to the heavens and thanked God for the beautiful mess of shoes, hats, mittens, and coats cluttering up my mudroom.
Until recently, I would've griped and moaned after tripping over that shoe as I frantically tried to tidy up the "mess." But today, I looked at it much differently. Instead of being a burden that I need to clean up, I suddenly saw that mess as a symbol of life coming and going in and out of my house on any given day of the week -- and I'm vowing to never, ever take it for granted again.
But I'm not going to stop there. Here are 20 other gorgeous little "messes" I am going to embrace, appreciate, and be thankful for from here on out.
- Walking into the living room and finding cracker crumbs crushed into the carpet after my son has enjoyed a snack.
- Stepping on Legos, action figures, and matchbox cars.
- Little fingerprints on my refrigerator and car windows.
- Having my son sneak into bed with me at 2 a.m. and kick me over and over again for the rest of the night.
- The sweet sound of noise.
- Magic marker all over tiny hands.
- A bowl full of snacks that I find uneaten and tucked into a corner of the playroom a week later.
- Empty juice boxes that he "forgets" to throw away.
- The Mario & Luigi action figures that have become permanent fixtures in our master bedroom shower.
- Drawings and pictures randomly taped to our walls and windows.
- Spilled milk.
- Mounds of clean clothes that get taken and worn directly out of the laundry basket before being put away.
- Sticky fingers.
- Being woken up at 6 a.m. on a Sunday morning.
- Having to fix a second dinner because my little man decides he isn't in the mood for the first thing I made.
- Finding lumps in my bed from stuffed animals hidden under the covers.
- The piles and piles of papers that come home from school.
- Having to stand outside when it's really cold because my son insists on riding his bike.
- Toys left on the stairs.
- Ordering two things off the kids' menu at restaurants, only to know he won't eat half of it, which will wind up rotting in my fridge and being thrown away.
What little messes will you stop taking for granted?
Image via Mary Fischer