I came across this blog recently, a collection of images from around homes where kids are living and growing and becoming and relating. Each shows vestiges of life frozen in still plugged bathtubs and Barbies folded in half and stuffed in pots on play kitchens. They provide a lens that filters beauty from otherwise cluttered and messes spaces.
When your family and home is your life's work, it's easy to see each mess as a hurdle to your greater purpose of soul shaping and spirit filling. In a home full of kids, there is always laundry on couches waiting to be put away, art projects abandoned mid process, and crumbs from baking or consuming all over the kitchen floor. It's easy to compute the hours spent cleaning and sorting and clutter reducing and trivialize them as soul sucking and spirit deflating and wonder why we chose this path of motherhood.
But what if we saw the crumbs as confetti from a celebration of creating? What if the plastic shapes underfoot became homages to healthy hearts beating within our homes? What would happen if we didn't sweep away the eye sores but changed our eyesight to behold them as signs of a vibrant life?
To apologize for a home well lived in and for happy messes scattered throughout a little people's sanctuary is to miss the blessing and beauty of family life. To complain about the residue from the construction of lives is to convey ingratitude for busy minds inside healthy bodies.
Today my to-do list boasts the usual household chores of emptying the dishwasher and making beds and cleaning bathtubs with a few added personal directives:
Look for the unexpected truth each task declares - a dozen pasty toothbrushes reminds of minty kisses at night.
Light up at the irony of pink rings circling a tub filled with Playmobile.
Tap out a tune in a cruncy pile of macaroon crumbs while munching lemony bites that bring sunshine to a gray day.
The kids were here and life is good.