Learning to love this moment - fingerprints and all
I spend a lot of time cleaning up toys. As a mom of a toddler, it pretty much just comes with the territory. On the bright side: As my little guy has gotten older, he’s able to do more and more of the cleaning up. And on the not-so-bright side: he’s also able to make a lot bigger messes!
But messes aside, I’ve decided there are certain toys that are practically pointless to put away. They’re the toys that, for some reason or another, have found a special place in my 3-year-old's little heart. They’re the ones that no matter how many times they get put back on the shelf, they manage to find their way back out… within hours, sometimes minutes! That’s how it was with marbles.
My sweet boy LOVED those marbles. And of course his favorite thing was to dump them into piles, into his trucks, or onto the floor. For the first couple of days of “dumping”, it was all I could do to remain calm as the small glass marbles went rolling in a million different directions throughout the room on our hard floor - usually rolling until they’d conveniently found there way under the piano, couch or in perfect placement to be stepped on.
The first thing he would ask his dad when he woke up or when he walked in the door from work, “Play marbles?” And my amazing husband would get down on the floor and “play marbles.” They’d roll, sort, spin and dump the ever-shrinking pile of marbles. Matt would joke, “You guys are losing your marbles.” :)
One day as I made my way around the house (picking up marbles of course!) a quote I’d seen weeks ago made its way to the front of my memory.
“It will all be gone before you know it. The fingerprints on the wall appear higher and higher, then suddenly they are gone.” - Dorothy Evslin
At that moment I realized, in my house right now, the "fingerprints" I'd surely come to miss someday were marbles. I could enjoy them or resent them; the choice was mine. Whether you have toddlers or not, what are the “fingerprints” in your life right now? The things that seem inconvenient or hard to tolerate... yet quite insignificant? The things that we allow to chip away our happiness one tiny piece at a time?
Rather than groan in frustration or sigh with impatience, I hope you can smile instead. I hope you can find it within yourself to react with flexibility and possibly a sense of humor. Because when you do, loving this moment is so much easier!
PS: Shadyn still loves those marbles and so do I (just the other day, I found a stray marble - behind the toilet of all places! - and couldn't help but smile), but now he lives and breathes dinosaurs. I must say I haven’t found those big, pointy, dangerous, roll-your-ankle-hazard dinosaurs to be quite as easy to love… but I’m getting there :)