Cheerios are spilled all over the place. Stuck in the carpet. Pinned under rocking chair legs. Buried in the baby’s diaper from when they rolled out of his fist or face. And yes, crushed under my bare feet. Every. time. I. take. a. step.
But that’ okay. I’ve come to realize that life is a sacred mess. At least for right now. And maybe for the next decade or so.
Saying that sounds funny, maybe almost sacreligious. I hope it’s not. My life and the various messes right now that are oh-so-especially organized in various compartments of our house and home:
- The IKEA mirror. Finger lines four feet high (as high as the two 3-foot monsters can reach) dripping across its surface.
- The extremely spacious couch where we end up reduced to at night. Covered in native markings of every kind. Crayon. Marker. Food. Boogers. Pretzel slobber.
- The carpet. Dismantling it and replacing it with wood is my dream but it’s not our house. in the meantime, anything that should be off the carpet is on the carpet. And magically it all appears so vividly the day after it lands there, to my chagrin.
- The kids’ bathroom. Littered with baby and toddler clothes. Foam letters. Ducks. Bath boats. Bottles of baby wash.
- The playroom. Toys tossed like a tomato salad. Stuffed animals crawling out from under blocks, train sets and dragons. A million pieces of tiny paper shredded by gorilla bear (that’s Audi) when she’s gotten her grubs on a book with paper pages.
Then a couple days ago I realized that I have, like a madman, become a madman of some sorts trying to keep everything neat and presentable. Odd. With the zero number of people I’ve invited over, I’m not sure why I care so much about it and how it looks. And not that I don’t want people to come over. That’s for another blog. Making friends is hard! And it takes time. I figure by the time I have some meaningful relationships, we’ll be moving again. Maybe that’s why I am so hesitant now…
Back to the sacred mess.
Running around trying to peel half-eaten stickers off my feet, sand peanut butter crusts off walls and work chalk out of upholstery creates a new mess–me. The minute one room is “done,” another is undone. Audi Dottie Beuschel Bear is in love with kitchen utensils, measuring cups and the stuff that you need to use to mix it all up. Her number one activity in the morning? Beeline for the kitchen. Pink chair in hand. Scoots to the cabinet, hands in the drawers, paws in whatever foodstuff is reachable (flour, coffee, cereal…) and everything is pretty much reachable unless I pack it in the overhead cabinets, but those are full…an edict to fully childproof the kitchen has been issued, and Audi Kitchen Homemaker and Bear is whisking up some sort of unpalatable breakfast. Yesterday I found crushed cereral of some variety mashed in the Nespresso cups. But they were glued in. That means bear saliva was added as a final drizzle of love. Lovely.
I can cage the bears. Pen them up in the living room with our giant multi-colored, fold out gate that spans 30 feet or so of space. But those bears are ingenious. They can maneuver out, drop things on the other side, push chairs up against it and soon, I’m sure, climb over it. And when all else fails, they can howl. And what’s the point of me staying home anyway if I spend the whole time chasing the bears, scurring from here to there to clean up their mess, yet all the while listening to them howl for me?
Invariably, I’ll come to the living room, play room or sun room (where ever they’ve been hemmed in) and find Lucas under a rocking chair. Audi with a pile of all 180 size 4 diapers flayed about in a pampers war. Alex with 10 marker lids stuck to each finger. And who knows where I’ll find the markers!
And I want the life of the stay-at-home mom. And believe it or not, we still want more kids! Even with these three rugrats!
So the trick now is looking for ways to redeem my time without going senseless in the picking up of all miscellaneous things. I’ve told some of the girls I’ve just started to get to know that I feel like it’s my first time at being a mom. I even told my old boss that. I don’t know if anyone really gets what I mean though. Yeah. I’ve been a mom for 3+ years but I haven’t been with the kids all day every day for all the days of the week, all the days of the month…until now. Until four months ago.
And my organized mess of a life has now become a new life, unpredictably and yet sacredly and deliciously…messy.
And I so want them to flourish in a world of creativity, chaos and curiosity. I want them to find fun in the flour and enjoy mixing cookies with me and come up with solutions, like chair scooting and such. But I also need some sanity.
So in the end I’ve decided that life is a sacred mess, and that I can and also need to let some of the messes be messes and jump in there a little more with the kids and make some of those messes right along with them.
And I’m always looking for tips on helping the kids learn to love, live and laugh together. God has blessed us with these three insurmountably joy-and-life giving baby and toddler bears. How can I do anything else other than acknowledge that they themselves have jumped into my life, right along side me, to sanctify me in many ways with those very sacred messes.