Making Messes Meaningful
Does anyone else have floors that could be considered fertile ground for science fair projects? I feel like I’m constantly cleaning but to no avail. I live with all these people who steal my cleanliness joy. You know, that moment when the floor has been mopped, the counter is clear and not sticky, and the laundry is all done? Yeah … I don’t remember that moment either. It’s pretty much nonexistent in my world.
But recently I figured out how to “destickify” my floors. It’s a bit unusual but highly effective … and quite funny! It involves:
1 hose spraying water
1 open door
Recently while we were working and playing in the back yard, I watched helplessly as my 4-year-old, armed with a hose, gleefully sprayed water through the open backdoor into my kitchen. Immediately, copious amounts of water landed on my beautifully sticky hardwood floors. She was delighted. My 6-year-old was shocked. And I couldn’t stop laughing.
Yup. That’s my life.
Oh, that I could laugh every time something like that happens – whether little or big. Unfortunately I tend not to laugh; I tend to sigh and moan and groan and often raise my voice.
I can remember another time when I was wise enough to not take things too seriously. A few months ago my 6-year-old was proudly bringing me a lovely chocolate cake she had made at a friend’s house. As she walked up the front steps she wobbled a bit on the second step and the cake landed upside down on the pavement. It was dramatic. She was devastated.
We all stood looking at the beautiful cake splatter all over the front steps. I couldn’t think what to do. All I knew was this absolutely was not the time to say one negative thing. Why in the world would I fuss about that?
Thankfully a solution presented itself. It was cake! Chocolate cake! It had to be eaten! Happily, we all sat down on the front steps and ate “sidewalk cake” with our fingers. The cake was delicious and the experience was precious. It is one of my sweetest memories now.
I need to blow up the picture of us eating sidewalk cake. I wish I had taken a picture of my 4-year-old spraying water into the house – alas, I didn’t and although it was funny I’m quite certain it would be unwise to encourage it a second time just to get a good picture!
But that picture would be another lovely reminder that refraining from my natural inclination to be annoyed by mistakes provides a beautiful opportunity to bless my children. I can encourage my children to not find fault where there is none to be found, and to find joy and humor even in the messes. What a valuable lesson for them and for me!