Let me make a confession. I’m not perfect and I do not have a perfect house.
In fact, this scenario could be considered somewhat routine at my house, and I’m guessing (hoping?) it happens in a lot of other homes, too:
It’s a beautiful day. Mom is full energy and resolves to tidy up the house. She decides to start in the girls’ bedroom, and while she’s in there putting away clothes and toys and hair clips and books, the little girls move into the hallway to make a grand set up of ponies and other little critters. After Mom finishes the girls’ room, she tries to carry their dirty clothes to the laundry room and realizes she can’t even walk through the hall because there are toys covering the floor, so she begins to clean up that mess with the help of one little girl while the other one escapes downstairs. While Mom and girl one are cleaning up the hall, the other little girl decides she needs to color and takes out every marker, crayon, and coloring book she can find and spreads them out over the kitchen table. After Mom and girl one clean up the hall, Mom starts a load of laundry while girl one decides to play dress up in the playroom and displays her options on the floor. Since the little boy has some time to spare before soccer, he decides to play legos and dumps a bucket out on the floor. After Mom finishes starting the laundry, she realizes that the floor needs to be vacuumed, but there are legos everywhere so she helps the boy move those legos to his lego table. In the meantime, girl two decides she wants to color with her sister, but also wants glue and glitter since she is feeling very fancy in her princess outfit. As Mom is vacuuming the living room, girl two dumps entire jar of glitter on kitchen floor and because mom doesn’t hear it, the girls decide to try and clean it up themselves by scooping little handfuls and carrying it to the garbage can, thus distributing it throughout the entire kitchen. The boy decides he’s hungry and asks Mom to make him a snack immediately, at which point Mom discovers the disaster in the kitchen. She sits down, exasperated, because the house is now much messier than when she started cleaning. She feels so overwhelmed that she starts giggling, and then the girls start giggling, and finally the boy, too. It all ends with four silly, giggling people in a messy house.
While I’m in the midst of these types of days, it seems like it is the same thing every single day and I long for a day without messes. But then one starts kindergarten and is not around as much… and I start to miss his little messes and funny antics. And soon the others will start kindergarten, too, and then I’ll really miss their little messes. My mess days (at least the weekday ones) are numbered, and that makes me a little sad.
So this month I decided to capture a few of those little messes that occur throughout the day. Several of my friends in this 10 on 10 group have undertaken a project called “Kids Were Here” (Molly Flanagan and Ketti Phillips come to mind) and I have laughed more than once when I’ve seen their photos showcasing both the joy and reality of motherhood: messes, spills, crayon marks, dirty dishes, and toys found in the oddest places. So I decided to focus on capturing the silly little details that make up our days — toys left at the bottom of the tub, puppies on swings, tigers dressed up in pink princess dresses, markers piled in a bucket, and socks with holes. In every little nook and cranny of our house, there is evidence to show that kids live here. All these little messes and imperfections show the reality of motherhood. Even if I could, I wouldn’t change that my children make their silly little messes.
Our house may not be perfect, but it is filled with life and love, and at the end of everyday that is what matters most.
Up next in our circle is the very talented Ketti Phillips | Seattle Family Photographer.