The absence of fingerprints is loud.
I know, I know. We’ve heard it a million times before from seniors and articles plastered across the internet, “One day you’ll miss those fingerprints and wish you had little ones to clean up after.” And those people are probably right, but as many times as you hear it as a young mom, you are so thick in motherhood that you can’t possibly fathom what those words truly mean.
However, I got a little glimpse of it this past week when my husband was out of town. See, we have a beautiful storm door with full-panel glass. My husband installed it for us a few years after we moved into our new house. I absolutely loved how much light it let in! I took such pride in keeping it clean so I could admire the sun, the rainstorms, the trees, and the busy signs of life on our street.
As my baby grew, he became fascinated by all these things as well and would gravitate toward that door often. He loved the sights and sounds of the world just as much as I did. And don’t get me started on when he would see his daddy’s truck pull up every evening. He would run up to that door and tap his hands on the glass over and over giggling and calling his name. It was so sweet, but also, in all honesty, I cringed at the fact that I had to wipe that glass clean again every single night just for it to get ruined the next day.
It wasn’t until my husband went out of town one week that I realized those fingerprints are so much more than smudges. I learned that they are pure love.
See, I went to clean the glass one evening, and to my amazement, it was clean. I shrugged it off and moved on. The next evening, I noticed it was clean again. I looked around and it hit me. The fingerprints weren’t there because my baby didn’t have someone on the other side to smile and wave and giggle at. I immediately couldn’t wait for my husband to get back so my baby could experience that highlight of the day again.
My husband was only going to be gone for a week, but I found myself reflecting on different scenarios. You know, that place your mama brain goes sometimes. I smiled with gratitude and decided right then and there that, never again would I complain about wiping fingerprints off that door. The fact that there is someone smudge-worthy on the other side is so special. I decided to never again cringe at little hands tapping the newly shined glass. The fact that I am blessed enough to have these tiny hands to take care of is such a gift. And in that moment, I decided to put my baby on my hip, grab a dry-erase marker, and write a countdown until daddy gets home, right in the middle of that shiny glass door.