Yesterday, I wrote a post in response to the Amazing Rara-inspired Weekly Writing Challenge: Leave Your Shoes at the Door. I started writing from the perspective of the girl-child as she leaves school and comes home. But three paragraphs in, it was feeling like a bit of a drag.
Then I remembered a bunch of pictures that I took last fall. The messy time when school has just started, but summer was so good that we just can’t let go yet. The wet towel and swimsuit dripping into her bedroom carpet. The dishes in the living room even though she had lost that privilege. The toothbrushes dropped in a hurry behind the faucet. The leftover popcorn crumbs all over the couch.
And I worked these into a post about how I see things like this that they leave behind compared to what these things laying around really mean to them. And I asked the question, “Is it a Mess? Or is it a Memory?”
But today. I feel like I need to make a confession. If I’m really being honest. I took those pictures out of frustration about the mess. I was tired and irritated and I walked through the house, snapping these to document the number of messes that she makes in a day.
That is just my Y. She moves fast and leaves a trail behind her.
If I’m really being honest, I have to confess that it is hard. It is hard to remember to see it through their eyes. But the truth is, one way or another, we are always making memories. Whether we realize it or not. They will either remember that I never let them make a mess. Or they will remember that I fussed all of the time about the mess. Or they will remember that I let them have some fun, taught and reminded them that they should be responsible for some clean up and at least tried to balance the two.
When I think back on my own childhood, it is full of amazingly fun memories. That one huge snow we got when I was 10. When we made snowmen and an igloo on the side of the house and hid snowballs for the battle with the boys in the mailbox. So much fun!
I am sure we traipsed in and out of the house a million and one times, dropping boots and hats and gloves everywhere. dripping melting snow across the kitchen floor. I’m sure we demanded hot chocolate and spilled drips on the carpet and left our dishes in the den.
But I don’t remember that stuff.
Growing up, we had a treehouse in the backyard and we were up and down it a million times a day. We played in the woods behind our house and had amazing adventures with the neighborhood kids. We rode our bikes for hours on end, playing ‘truckers’, responding to made up emergencies talking on pretend cb radios.
I’m sure we tracked mud in the house at every turn. I’m sure we ate our dinners as fast as we could, leaving crumbs on the floor in a race to get back outside before it was really dark. I’m sure we left our clothes on the floor when we got into the shower and forgot to hang up our towels.
But I don’t remember that stuff.
I just remember the bikes and the games and the friends and the snowstorms and the treehouse and the hot chocolate and the fun.
I remember that stuff, because my own Tired Working Momma was a lot like I am today; just doing her best to balance the memories with the messes.
Here’s hoping that my kiddos won’t remember much of the fussing or frustration found in their childhood years; but instead remember it as a time full of movement and magic and messy, messy memories.
Because it is those moments of messy, magical memories that they will never forget.
Let’s all, Go. Do that.