Before the Mess

I know I’ve said this a few times in previous posts of mine – about how I’m the Type A-love-everything-in-its-place type of gal.  I like things to be clean and orderly.  I even color code things on my calendar.  It’s just how my weird brain works, for better or worse.  Some is due to genetics and some due to my previous life as an engineer in the nuclear world where EVERYTHING must be proceduralized and perfect. Seriously – it’s nuts!  

I rocked along like this until I was 34 and God’s sense of humor really kicked in and blessed us with a boy – a tiny tornado with two legs and who relishes in all things dirty and messy.  And now that he’s approaching three, his messes and smells are getting worse by the day.  The trail of crumbs, stickiness, and dirt on the floor are ever increasing.  There are days that I do believe his mission in life is to see how many toys he can litter the floors with or just how much utter destruction he can create. 

Here’s where I have a choice.  I have to decide if I’m going to let the messes of the day totally throw me into an OCD cleaning frenzy.  Or if I’m going to accept the fact that I have a boy and this is life – just roll with it.  I admit it’s been H-A-R-D to let go of a lot of my wanting-to-clean-up-after-him-every-single-second-self.  It takes a lot of prayer and practice.  But what I don’t want to do is miss the little moments of his life and not enjoy this every shortening time that speeds up every day.  People always told me that children grow up too fast.  It’s not just a cliche, it’s a fact.  In the blink of an eye they learn to walk, talk, and yes mess up an entire house in nanoseconds.  But one day they will grow up and be gone.  We will be empty nesters.  And we will ache for those messy days to return because those were the days that they were in their safe bubble and untainted by the world.

With Mother’s Day approaching, I realize just how grateful I am and want to enjoy every single mess he makes.  I want to leave the hand-prints on the windows and stickers hidden on the furniture – it reminds me of how fast he grows, where he’s been, and his adventurous spirit.   I had five long years of yearning for these days – the days before the mess.  I wouldn’t trade all the messes one little human being can make for the days before the mess – the days of procedures and failed pregnancy tests, heartache and disappointment, and an empty nursery.  Because even though our house was clean and orderly, we were only a couple and not yet a family.  The messes now remind me of the little life of our own we waited so long to have and I want to enjoy every single one he creates.