Say "Yes" to the Mess

Perhaps it is because summer is coming (or in today’s case, with temps in the mid-90s, perhaps it is because summer arrived). Perhaps just knowing that Ben is in his final week of teaching before break gives me that light at the end of the long-winter-tunnel feeling. Perhaps Captain Cranky Pants decided to give it up for an afternoon and just freaking roll with it. Or perhaps I’m still so tired from getting four hours of sleep two nights ago that I became too delusional and/or too drowsy to fight it today. I don’t know.

Really, again as always, I have no answers as to why the day was how it was. And what it was, was good. It was also exhausting and draining and fuzzy-eyes-inducing at times, but at its core, this day was one of family and joy and celebration (and one that was really, really freaking hot).

Here is our joy for today:

Our sweet Harrison finished his first year of preschool today and he/we couldn’t be more proud. I’ve always known his mind and his heart were big, and this year of learning from and with others just made both grow exponentially. And so this morning, along with the families of his classmates and his wonderful teachers, we celebrated all that they have done and all that they have learned. And just that they are who they are, because three- and four-year-olds are a damn handful, but they are amazing all the same. And, somehow, which is also amazing, I didn’t cry!!

But back to my many perhapses…this afternoon, after our visitors had gone and before Ben came home, the kiddos and I escaped from the extreme heat but somehow all ended up doing so in different rooms. I don’t often let that happen (which may or may not mean I’m a control freak, which may or may not explain Cpt. CP). But I got HD set up with PlayDoh in the dinning room and RL seemed content playing with clothes in one of the back bedrooms, so I decided to work on the stack of dishes that the day had produced.

Raegan never made a peep. A couple times I went to check on her and she was just sitting on the floor, often with a different garment from one of her drawers, trying to put something on or take something off. She didn’t even look up at me when I checked on her. Totally doing her own thing; totally content.

Harrison made some peeps. At first he kept coming into the kitchen to get more “tools” to make a “birthday cake” for me, to the point that I had to tell him no more items from any more cupboards or drawers could go to the dining room. Then he started calling me (“Ring-ring! Ring-ring! Mama, answer your phone!”) and telling me how long his cake had to bake or that I had to come to the party or what have you. But I’ll give him this – he stayed in the dining room, working on his masterpiece. Totally noisy; totally content.

All of this meant I got to continue working on my own masterpiece – a perfectly and beautifully stacked drain board. No really – I consider my dish stacking skills one of my best and yet another awesome piece of my mom that lives in me. To this day my parents still don’t have a dishwasher, so I was raised to wash, rinse, and stack like a pro. And sometimes, on the rare day like today, I get a kick out of doing it. (Note: often the dishes annoy the crap out of me, but I love a clean kitchen before I go to bed so I do them, even though they are very often very far from being kicky.)

And while I seem to have a problem with wandering points tonight, this dishes discussion brings me back, again, to where I began….I don’t know what made today different, but this afternoon I was able to put my hands up (in the water, actually) and say, “OK. It is OK not to hoover over both children at the same time, all the time, driving myself crazy with the details. It is OK for us to do our own things. It is OK if our parallel time means messes for later.” And with water splashes on my bumping belly, clothes all over one floor, and PlayDoh all over another, that is exactly what we did and OK is exactly what we were. Because, thank goodness, some days are just full of joy and work and play and mess (and air conditioning).

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