I must curse (under my breath of course;) ) these stools several times a day. You practically walk right into them when you open the door. They don't look like that big of a nuisance in this picture, but you can't see that the bathroom extends only a few more inches beyond this picture. Trust me, they're impossible not to trip over. When we give the kids a bath, we have to maneuver around them, and they leave my husband or myself even less room on the oh-so-comfortable tile floor to sit while the kids play in the tub. Oh, and of course, whenever I have to help one kid or the other at the potty, I have to make my way around them and try not to stub my toe along the way. Plus, they don't even match.You get the picture. And every time I stumble over/around them, I think, man I'll be glad when these stools are outta here. (I know, very un-Babies Don't Keep of me, but I'd be lying if I said I had that great outlook 100% of the time.)
This all changed the other day, when my mom was over. She was upstairs with one or two of the kids, and came down and said, "I just love seeing all those stools in the bathroom up there. How precious." I thought, huh? You mean the stools that take over the entire bathroom, leaving us no room to even move in there?! Those stools that drive me batty and I can't wait for them to be gone?!
Yes. She meant those stools.
I think it's such a gift of aging, when you can see the beauty in life being lived. In imperfections. In scratches on the wall from a kid's favorite toy. In stains on the couch from a baby's bottle. In those things that a younger self might view as disastrous or unsightly, an older person views as a lovely reminder of a beautiful life. I have to say, I'm starting to get there. Even just a few years ago, things would bother me that would never even phase me now. This is why I don't fear growing older. I feel like life just gets more beautiful.
I think this is why my mom loves those three stools. They represent the little people who live here, who have stolen our hearts and changed our home and lives forever. They represent the chaos here, the little feet that run around loudly and often. They represent this time in our lives, when the kids are so small, that they need us, like they need these stools. They represent innocence and are a reminder that they are here. That this is their home.
It got me thinking. Again, Mother Knows Best, as always, but in all seriousness, she does. I mean, really, isn't it a wonderful thing to complain about - that I have been blessed so much to have three stools in my way? That if they weren't here to trip over, then that would mean I wouldn't have these three most precious people living here? I know one day the stools will be not be needed, so until that day comes, I vow never to complain about them again. I don't care if I'm crowded on the floor at bathtime, or stub my toes when going to help someone potty, or hit my shin as I walk into the bathroom and get greeted immediately by their presence. After all, if it weren't for those stools, I wouldn't have this image every night, which no matter how tired I am, or how long a day I've had, makes me feel like life is pretty darn close to perfect. Stools and all.