Wednesday, March 26, 2014
A Beautiful Mess
As the weather has warmed up, the kids are spending more and more time outside. I love it because they are running and being creative and our TV is on a heck of a lot less. A favorite activity for them is writing on our patio with a huge bucket of chalk I bought that was on clearance at the end of last summer. They also really enjoy filling a watering can and watering all our dirt. Yesterday I went out and the patio was a disaster. There was paint and chalk puddles everywhere and almost all the chalk had been ground down and was covered in splashes. I was feeling sort of annoyed with the kids thinking that they'd really "wasted" all this good chalk and then I took a closer look and realized that what they'd been doing was making paint. They had ground up the chalk, poured in water, and then when they had a nice thick paint they had made colorful hand and foot prints all over the patio. I don't know what it was but seeing their colorful little hand prints touched something deep inside me. I guess they reminded me of cave paintings like these in Spain which scientist think are over 40,000 years old. Just like those ancient hunters my children were marking they were here, that they existed. Our mops theme for this year has been "A Beautiful Mess" and every time I hear it I just groan inwardly because I always think, "Who honestly thinks there is anything beautiful about a mess? I mean really people, who?" Yesterday I was folding up the last bits of my laundry and while I was glad to finally have the stack put away the realization that today was laundry day was extremely demoralizing. Messes are messes. They often involve time consuming, monotonous work that falls on me to take care of and they are rarely gone for long. That is how I feel about messes right now in this raising young children part of my life, but yesterday I saw the beauty in the mess. It was hidden among puddles, ground up chalk, and a dirty kitchen floor, but it was there. It is the existence of my children. Sometimes demanding and dirty but also colorful and full of vitality and life. Long after I leave this world they will carry me on, generation after generation, putting out their hands to prove their existence.