There are certain skills we are already equipped with when we begin the journey of motherhood and there are others that we acquire over time or in times of need.
Of my positive attributes as a mother, the following are not/have never been/may never be included:
- Styling hair
- Cooking food
- All things mess related
I don’t know what my beef with messes is these days.
When I was a kid, I spent full days making mud pies in my neighbor-best friend’s back yard. I proudly held up garden snakes never minding that distinct burnt rubber smell they left behind. I fought bath time good and hard with the rest of them.
Our kids are following suit, spending long hours in the garden- literally.
And I want them to. But this time is usually supervised by daddy since the mess making tends to produce some anxiety for mommy.
Since I started staying home ‘half-time’, I have not entirely intentionally started to let the mess go a bit. I’ve found that now I have more time to devote to being at home, keeping it clean doesn’t top my priority list. I’m relishing the times of both activity and relaxation I get with my kids that I missed out on when I was at work all day, every day.
When I brought the kids to the park this week, I was quick to react when I saw brother pick up a stranded bottle cap to examine it. I went to grab it from his hand and then figured, as long as he doesn’t put it in his mouth…
Which he didn’t. So I watched as he filled the bottle cap up with bark chips and dirt before leaving it behind to go seek something else out. I figured his 10 seconds of play with it was done when he returned with a small stick. He recovered his bottle cap and thoughfully stirred the contents of it with his stick
before holding what I know recognized to be a makeshift spoon out to me with an expectant smile.
My son was offering me a taste of his bottle cap stew.
He spent the next 20 minutes refining that stew til it was just right, offering me another taste every few stirs. And if I had tossed that bottle cap aside because of my fears of how it could ‘contaminate’ him, he and I would have never enjoyed that meal together.
Lesson learned: a little bottlecap stew never hurt anyone.