Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Let it be

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I watched today as Mya brought a little tupperware container full of fishie crackers into Carter's room as I was getting him dressed. He squirmed out of my arms the moment that she came in, begging to be let down to play with her.

As his little body crawled quickly towards her, knees sliding across the bright green shag rug under him, she smiled and quickly sat down to let him crawl up all over her.

Two bodies giggling, squirming, squeezing each other in delight--all while a little hand held firmly to that little container full of crackers.

I saw those fishies slide back and forth in that little bowl, like watching a toddler moving with a tall glass of water, and I sat for a moment and just watched.

These are the moments when we either choose to make a move, or let it be.

I knew what was coming.

Fishies ALL over the rug. Crushed fishies all over the rug.

But I sat still. Watching. Smiling. Letting it be.

I watched as Carter's eyes narrowed in on that container and with one quick grab, crackers flew through the air and landed ALL over the floor--quickly turning from whole crackers to tiny crumbs, lost in the green of the carpet.

I still sat there. Watching. Smiling. Letting it be.

Two little bodies continued to squirm, giggle, roll around and eat crackers right off of the floor. I watched this moment between them--this love between my kids, this sibling connection that is so strong already. I didn't want to ruin their moment by being concerned by a mess. A mess, really, that could ultimately be cleaned up in a matter of minutes.

I've realized that sometimes it's worth making a move, stopping the mess that you can see coming from a mile away or stopping the stains that you know will somehow jump from your child onto your couch cushions. Sometimes it's worth grabbing the glass of water that your toddler is so (not) carefully carrying across the room or stopping the markers from becoming artwork on your walls.

But sometimes it's not.

Sometimes it's good to just sit back and let it be. Let them make a mess. Let them make mistakes. Let them make stains. Let them make scratches on your floor. Let them be carefree.

Let them be kids. 

Love marks. That's what a friend of ours calls them. Love marks.


My original hardwood floors may not be as perfectly smooth as they were before we had kids. But the love marks on them from tiny feet running in circles throughout our house pushing baby strollers, crashing into baseboards and skidding around corners are beautiful to me.

The fingerprints on my couch from letting her eat an Oreo (yes, an Oreo--quite possibly the messiest cookie out there I've discovered) on it can be wiped away. But that look on her face as she positioned herself on that big couch, hand outstretched waiting for that delicious treat to be placed in her hand, hearing that she must be "SO big" now since I'm trusting her to be careful with her chocolate covered fingers--knowing full well that she won't be...well, it's just worth it to me.

She doesn't need to know that I scrub down the couch some nights when she falls asleep, wiping away the evidence of the fun from the day. Wiping away the stains, the marks and the smudges...but certainly not the memories that we made.

They don't need to know that I go around our house sometimes with a tiny paintbrush, touching up the white paint that's been chipped away from little hands and feet playing in each room as if play was an Olympic sport.

They don't need to know that I search under cushions and couches late at night for lost blocks, since I love to see the thrill on their faces as they dump the whole box of toys out in front of them.

Enjoy those carefree moments, Mya and Carter. Remember how it feels to sit in the middle of a pile of Mega Blocks and let your imagination go wild. We'll clean it up later. When you're all done. Don't worry about the mess. Create some magic.

I want you to remember how your mom looked at you and told you that you looked beautiful when you came into the kitchen after being left for only 5minutes alone with markers (yes, this is what only 5minutes can produce). Because that look on your face of pure pride in your 'makeup' application could only lead a mom to smile, instead of being mad. But please...please use paper next time. I love your artwork just as much.

Remember what it feels like to sit in our sandbox and let the cool of the sand tickle your feet. Get dirty. Make castles. Don't worry about getting your dress covered in sand. Clothes are washable. So are your feet (even if there is still evidence of your marker tattoos on your feet).

And if you have kids one day, and your own living room becomes a jungle gym every single day like ours, remember your toddler years and come and give your mother a hug.

Learn responsibility and be respectful, but enjoy life. That's what it's really all about.

And I'll try to sit back a little more and let that magic happen. Even if it is a little messy.


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