The past couple of months have been full of a busy and new excitement. It started with the birth of my first granddaughter Alayna Lynn and ended with my children being together in our home this past week. There will be a lull in activity now and a much quieter Christmas as four of my kids spend time with friends and in-laws. I choose to find joy in both the chaos and in the upcoming silence.
I am awake as usual in the wee hours while the only noise to be heard is the back and forth tick tock of two clocks in opposing rooms. My Christmas lights are warmly glowing and a fresh cup of coffee sits on the table in front of me.
I think of the past few weeks, the clutter, jumble and blessings of an imperfect household. Diapers, pacifiers, dog hair and fingerprints on the glass slider. Games, cardboard boxes, loud voices and sunflower seeds in plastic cups on my country table. Toddlers playing, aunts and uncles happily carting them around and never a dull moment.
This Thanksgiving as usual everyone helped, wiped, picked up, washed dishes and held tiny hands. I tried to capture the chaos in photos but like the colors of a remarkable sunset, pictures pale in comparison to reality.
Just a few shorts years ago, a crumb, hair or stain would have sent our household into a different kind of chaos as an unruly fury seethed just below the surface. A neat, orderly and spotless home became a shining example to neighbors, friends and family. Visitors asked repeatedly where the toys, mess and disorder of a large family were hidden. A tiny piece of fuzz on the floor left behind by a recent sweeping was sure to elicit that look of anger and disgust, warning of a possible eruption.
No pets were allowed and in particular dogs. I adhered to these rules even when we moved back to the United States. He was nowhere to be seen but the grip of compliance still reigned and was far reaching. I scurried around on his visits looking for any evidence of rules that I had not followed and strived to keep what had been considered order.
During this holiday things felt different, a soft and lovely energy dotted with joy, love and acceptance rang throughout our home.
At one point I stood, taking in the random messiness of the moment, feeling proud and full of a delight that could not be contained. My grandson toddled past with a piece of muffin in his hand, he shoved bits of cake into his mouth leaving tiny bits behind. I watched the crumbs gently fall to the floor and with a childlike rebellion I brushed them aside and under the couch!
I relished every spill and crumpled tidbits on floors and counters. I sat on the couch, dotted with tiny crumbs and dog hair. Pillows were haphazardly placed on one end and a piece of cereal crunched under my slippers. There would be plenty of time to sweep, dust and polish, but for now I enjoyed this new feeling of absolute imperfection.