I've learned over this time that fingerprints can be cute. I actually giggle sometimes when I see them on the stainless steel freezer door handle. Makes me picture my 2 year old holding on for dear life, begging for a "quawk qwackxxx" (popsicle)
I've learned that dirt and sand in a bathtub are not evil - they are quite the opposite. It makes me so happy when the kids get out of the tub and there's a ring of all things outside left behind. Makes me think about the fun day we had outdoors, at the pool, maybe the park, and not sitting around on the couch watching tv all day.
I've learned that a mess of dishes in my sink can actually make me smile. Especially after a big Saturday morning pancake breakfast, or a Sunday night after feeding my family for 9+ hours while we watched football.
I've learned that not making the bed is not the end of the world. Sure, there are days I must. do. it. or I feel like I can't accomplish one thing, but some days, my kids like to use it as a trampoline, and I'd much rather them remember the fun times jumping on Mommy and Daddy's bed than hearing their neurotic mother scream, "YOU KIDS GET OFF THERE! I JUST MADE IT, CAN'T YOU SEE THAT??" I've been that mother. Once. And I vowed never to say those words again.
Who knows, maybe it's parenthood, maybe it's wisdom, maybe it's the fact that my oldest baby is starting kindergarten in a month (again, tearing up just typing this!), or maybe it's all the darn adorable signs on Pinterest I've been seeing lately, but I do know that one day you're rocking your newborn baby to sleep, and then you blink. And you're a mother of three, and a neat perfect house isn't all that important anymore. Do I want my kids to have this picture of their mom walking around the house with Pledge in one hand and a vacuum in the other? Or do I want them to picture their mom as the one who chose to go out for ice cream instead?
I had one of those days yesterday, when the dust, the mess, the crumbs all. over. the. rugs. was starting to drive me batty. And I don't believe it was a coincidence that I stumbled up this blog on that very day. It was like God's way of reminding me that the mess isn't important. The mess will always be there. The kids will not:(. Susan, the author of the blog, included the words to a poem that is one of my absolute favorites - one that my friend Jess told me about a while back, and it's one I refer to often:
Cleaning and scrubbing can wait for tomorrow,
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs,
Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby,
And babies don't keep.
So take a look at our house around dinner time last night...
So when I woke up today, I was faced with this dust:
Then we stopped by our favorite summer place and had some snowballs.