Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Memories are Worth the Mess

Do you ever have what seem to be conflicting desires?
I find myself often wanting two things that directly oppose each other.
I love order and cleanliness. But I also really want to give our children freedom and encourage their creativity.
Those things don't often get along that well, you know?

Today one of my piano students didn't want to go out our front door after her lesson because there were some wasps flying around out there. So I walked her through the backyard to the gate.
I was a trifle embarrassed...the backyard featured a basketball hoop, a slide, a teeter-totter, a jungle gym, and a fire pit. The boys have been loving the spring weather and have been spending hours pretending outside--which meant that there were rocks, sticks, jump ropes, chairs, costumes, props, and lots of balls spread around, in addition to a large blanket that was still lying on the grass from the picnic we had enjoyed at lunchtime. All this was evidence of their games of knights, eagles, Dino-Trucks, cops & robbers, and so much more.

My 10-year-old student looked around the yard and said, "Wow...this is a really fun yard!" I responded, "It's kind of a mess right now..." and she said, "You have a lot of fun things. We just have a table and chairs."
Ah, yes...her yard likely looked much more like the beautiful sanctuaries featured in home magazines, I'm sure. But her wistful tone encouraged me and reminded me that the memories are worth the mess.

When we were finding a house to rent almost three years ago, I told Sam I would give up a lot on the house if it could just have a fenced in yard and a sidewalk in front of it. I am so grateful for this space and the way it has provided a backdrop for so many positive experiences for our littles.
Watching them happily engage in active play together is probably in my top 5 favorite things as a mother.

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