Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sometimes life is messy.

Oh, crazy house.  Crazy, crazy house.  There are toys all over you and dirt where no good house deserves.  Those counters.  Those once-beautiful counters...they're just...such a complete disaster, all covered in papers and vials, unopened mail and jars of someone-please-tell-me-what-the-heck-is-going-on-here.  And the muddy shoes left by your doors threaten unwary passersby with their encrusted soles and their trippy-trippiness. 

But a good life is often messy.  Neat and tidy can be a destination, but barely controlled chaos is the journey.
puzzles in the play room
Those toys strewn all about belong to the boy who is playing instead of watching.  The boy who is learning to pick up his own messes, but in the meantime is busy memorizing the shapes of the states. It was his idea.

indoor planting seed trays
No, you're dining room table deserves dirt like this, real dirt, as in dirt, smeared all over it like so, but these are the trays that will coddle the seeds that will become the plants that will give us delicious vegetables and herbs all summer long.  Using the table to make food for the table.  It's not pretty, but it feels so right.

soil ph test kit
And all the stuff and the papers and jars mean more digging and learning and fixing.  Doing instead of sitting.  Finding out that there is so much more that we didn't even know that we don't know, but feeling like we can do it anyway.

new balance trail running shoes
And those shoes, looking worse for the wear, keep these feet clean and dry, feet that take me to beautiful places to do very ordinary things- amazing, fulfilling, mud-covered ordinary things that make puppies leap and children cheer.

Yes, I'll take this messy life, with its adventures and its excitement.  Bring on the mud and the rain, the experiments and the what-if-we-dos.  Because now there's a tent in my den where a coffee table ought to be, and I love it.


  1. the messy life is a well lived life. yes.

  2. That's the spirit! Here's to the messy life!

  3. I love this!! It is so true, and cheers to a happy, well-lived, messy life.
    "Neat and tidy can be a destination, but barely controlled chaos is the journey."
    That there sentence needs to be on a t-shirt or bumper sticker, or the least on my fridge. Thanks.

  4. Thanks ladies. So glad you can relate! Letting go of some ideal of a clean house in favor of happy children has been one of the many lessons of motherhood for me :)

  5. Here's to the messy life!! :)

  6. I would rather have a messy and well lived life than a sterile unhappy life.

  7. Yeah, I'm commenting on an old post but I just needed to say thank you today for this. Especially these words: "Those toys strewn all about belong to the boy who is playing instead of watching. The boy who is learning to pick up his own messes, but in the meantime is busy...." I've been letting the messes get to me recently. But when I think of the mess as an alternative to the worlds that my kids could be living in. The one where they are neat because they're watching tv. Or the one where it's neat because there are no kids.... Ok. I'll take the mess. I'll look at it and see the games where they were pretending to be princesses and nuns. The games where they were pretending to make food because they live in a house where food is primarily something that is cooked not something that comes from a box or a drive through. And that's why there are dishes in the sink and crumbs on the floor. Because we're busy living here. And by golly it's a good life! Ok now I feel so much better. I'm going to go make pizza sauce for my homemade pizza.

  8. I was thinking about the same thing yesterday as I sat outside while the kids played for almost 3 hours. They are too little to be left unattended, but I kept thinking I should be doing laundry or cleaning up the house. Instead we played...why does that bring guilt???


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