The Sweet Smell of PineSol™
"Jesus said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'" Matthew 19:14 (NIV)
I admit it. I'm the world's worst when it comes to preserving photos. I have boxes of photos stacked in various cubbyholes. I tried to organize the pictures once. I divided them and placed them in large envelopes. My next step was to put them in albums. They are still in the envelopes—stacked in a box.
My children Melissa, Ryan, and Leslie are now in their 20's and newly married. The chances of me ever getting these precious memories organized are slim to none, but I'm realizing something powerful. Memories aren't limited to pictures.
Remember when, Mom? is a common phrase in my house now. We have become the hub, a privilege once reserved for my husband's parents. At holidays and special weekends, they drive up and unload luggage and pile into the guest rooms. We laugh and reminisce a lot around the table. Remember when we went on treasure hunts in the pasture? Remember when you jumped on the bed and popped Ryan up in the air so high it scared you? Remember that yellow Slip-n-Slide™?
I do remember. But I also remember a young mom with three little ones who worried that her house wasn't spotless when an unexpected guest showed up. I remember the angst of trying to do everything and the fatigue when my day ended before my chores did.
I also remember days that I threw caution to the wind and jumped on the bed, even though it might make others frown. I grabbed a shovel and gave the kids plastic buckets and we looked for old bottles and trinkets at the abandoned homestead nearby. We mixed dishwashing liquid and water and I laughed out loud as the kids flew like greased lightning across the yellow slippery slide. Some of those memories were captured in that pre-digital age, but most were not. However, they are etched on the heart of my young adult children.
What they don't reminisce about is the sweet, sweet smell of PineSol™. Whether my house was perfect or how it compared to others' is not even on their radar.
Why did I worry so?
Is it good to have order and structure? Sure. But don't allow the pressure to be the perfect mom keep you from the simplicity of playing with your children. The unmade bed will still be there when you are through, but I promise that a child will grow quickly.
Take a moment today and look past the clutter and the to-do list and be a child again. It might not be a picture-perfect moment, but it will be a memory.
Dear Lord, time passes so fast. Slow me down. Let me enjoy the smallest pleasures. Let me play with my child instead of only knocking down a to-do list. Let me laugh with my teen instead of fussing at him. Thank You for sweet memories, Amen.
Are you better suited to a schedule? Mark a day for play. Protect it. Give it the importance it is due. It doesn't have to be an event. Just play, if even for a few minutes.
Jump on the bed. It's crazy, but do it anyway. Break the cycle. Don't worry about what others will say or what else you could be doing. Enjoy yourself.
Is it hard for me to let go of perfection or walk away from productivity to play with my kids? Why?
When was the last time I did something fun to make memories with those I love?
2 Samuel 6:14-15, "David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets." (NIV)