Some parents are great with schedules.
Some parents are phenomenal at structured activities.
Some parents are awesome at chore charts and routines.
Some parents are crafty and can do all the Pinterest seasonal fun.
Some parents are masters of organization and labeled toy boxes.
Try as we might, my husband and me? We are not those parents.
BUT. We are the BEST at the mess. At joyful chaos. At letting the kids get messy and make messes.
Granted some of those messes we’d rather them not make, but those aren’t the ones I’m talking about.
I’m talking about setting them free in the backyard and letting them crush up all the chalk into makeshift paint they then smear all over their bodies yelling, “We are paint monsters!”
I’m talking about not making them wear shoes (or shorts, to be honest) when they go out back to feel the dirt and grass stuck between their toes.
I’m talking about getting out that science kit and allowing them to use the food coloring in experiments even if it means they splash it on the table by accident.
I’m talking about letting them use the old cracked plastic tub as a soaking tub and fishing hole after they figured out how to plug the cracks on their own.
I’m talking about standing by while they lay on their bellies in the mulch to pluck worms from the dirt.
I’m talking about donating a roll of toilet paper to the “let’s wrap each other like mummies” cause on a Saturday morning.
I’m talking about allowing the couch cushions and pillows to be constantly rearranged into forts and magical palaces constructed by little hands right in the living room.
So, sure, when my artsy girl asks to make Halloween bat decorations, I am riding the STRUGGLE bus trying to copy images from Google. But then she pulls out all the art material, spreads it out all over the floor, and comes up with her own creations.
And yeah, when it rains, we never have an umbrella by the door because I don’t think we actually own one, and if we did, it would probably be stored somewhere highly impractical. But it’s all good because our kids just slap on their rain boots and dart out the door to soak in and soak up the wild water falling from the sky.
They rejoice in getting drenched with the wildness that is a reflection of their little spirits. They revel in pretending they are captains of a ship in a storm as their clothes drip and their hair tangles.
And I revel in their joy of the mess.
The type of mess serving as evidence of their creativity and imagination.
So we do mess well here. Because to me, messes are evidence of childhood.
And kids, they can be taught to clean up their messes at the end of the day. But . . . once childhood has flashed by and left us as adults, there is no going back to learn and experience the thrill of messy joy as a child.
Because childhood? It is fleeting. It is magical. It is messy. And it only happens once.