These are the blessed messes of our lives: The incessant laundry, ubiquitous dog hair, Oliver and Lucy’s clothes littered here and there, anywhere but the laundry bin, unfinished art projects, Paul’s sweaty hat on the counter, soap scum in the shower, the smashed strawberries on the kitchen floor, couch cushions strewn across the playroom, Barbie’s head under the bed, her chopped hair fallen next to the bathroom garbage, unending dishes, and mounds of important papers and reminders and schoolwork and mail that I continually find, past their due dates.
When I’ve had enough of the clutter and chaos, I charge around the house in a lather, determined to spit-shine every corner of the house (a pipe dream). I move like the Tasmanian Devil, trying in vain to tie up loose ends as they unravel, to put back, wipe down, and vacuum up.
All the while, I can hear peels of laughter and play from the other room, knowing yet another mess is about to explode.
But the truth is, these are the blessed messes of our lives, the artifacts of lives living and breathing and learning and growing and laughing and crying and resting under our roof, the roof atop the house that someday will be put up for sale, when the kids have grown and their messes change from brightly colored dolls and Highlights magazines to electronic devices and crates filled with their belongings, ready to move into dorm rooms and first apartments.
So for now, knowing that Life is sweet and Life is ephemeral, I will treat Lucy’s Lalaloopsy collection with reverence as I put the tiny pigeon-toed dolls back in their little house that we painted together one day. I will revel in the memories inspired by the pictures whose frames I dust, and I will stand in a state of grace as I fold Oliver’s little plaid boxer shorts for the thousandth time and put them into the drawer of his dresser that is littered with fish food flakes and errant Legos.
Thank God for these blessed messes we have been given to remind us to slow down, pay attention, and be grateful for the little hands of their makers.