A beautiful mess

ChristineStephan
01/08/2011

A beautiful mess

When I was a young mom, I had very fixed ideas about how the perfect mom should be and what she should allow her children to do.

For example, they would certainly never, ever play on those hand-held video games in church.

They would never pretend to shoot one another. How uncivilized!

We would have set amounts of screen time, and instead of listening to the radio in the car, we would, of course, sing the alphabet song or recite our multiplication facts.

Besides all this, I was fairly convinced that organization was the key to keeping things running smoothly.

Books were alphabetized and Legos were sorted according to color.

I vacuumed every day.

And then, one day my oldest son came home from preschool and promptly told me that his best friend's dad was a "bad guy.”

What?!

He proceeded to tell me that his friend's dad must be a bad guy because he carries a gun and he's in the Marines.

"Bad guys carry guns," he told me.

Ah. Not perfection. I had some backtracking to do.

Now, I have a whole arsenal of weapons in my house. I detest it. And I also think it's OK.

My kids have also been known to have a charger at church in my office, so they can juice up their pocket video games when the batteries run low.

It's not ideal. It's not perfect. But, I will tell you something, it's a lot more authentic. It's a lot more real.

Yes, my kids scope out places in the forest to battle it out with their Nerf guns. But they are playing together. And they could sit for hours (if I let them) playing video games, but they can't wait to show me the new level they've reached. Our Legos are all mixed together, and we don't follow the directions.

It's all just a beautiful mess. I think I'll take that over "perfection" any day. Well, most days a perfectly clean house once a month would feel like heaven, but that'll have to wait about 18 years.

--------------------------------------

Originally posted Dec. 29, 2010, at Tiny Dart Frog. Republished with permission of the author. Find a link to Christine Stephan’s blog Tiny Dart Frog at Lutheran Blogs.

Current Stories