I was in my kitchen the other day and had a moment. A MOMent if you will. The sun was pouring in through all the windows and when I turned around I noticed a ton of tiny child handprints all over the fridge. Adorable little handprints. Everywhere. Well, on the lower half anyways.
And you know what? I loved them.
I kept looking around and noticed there were also little smudgy handprints all over the glass doors. And I loved those, too. And then I saw the countless child handprints on almost every single wooden cabinet. These adorably grimy handprints were everywhere and I found myself loving them. I mean really loving them. Because they were basically like all that handprint artwork your kid brings home from school. Except they were just scattered all over the house. And here I was standing in the kitchen falling in love with these little child handprints all over my appliances and pretty much every surface imaginable. And it hit me for the 1078th time this week just how much I love being a Mama.
My intense if impractical appreciation of these child handprints is a perfect, super-simplified example of that.Why have I always grabbed the cleaner and wiped off all the handprints when they were grown-up handprints but now that they’re my child’s handprints I want to slap on a layer of Modge Podge so they will stay there forever?Click To Tweet
I can’t answer that. Maybe adult handprints are just more annoying than cute for whatever reason. I really don’t know. What I do know is that these sticky child handprints are everything.
They’re a sign of life. Of these little lives that I’m in charge of. That’s some pretty heavy duty stuff. They’re a sign of the fact that my kids have food to eat. Food that makes their fingers sticky and fingers that find their way onto every surface of our home. They’re a sign of how quickly children grow. How they move so fast through each phase and no matter how much we may want to, we can’t keep them little forever. Not that we want our children to stagnate, but I sure could hold onto these sweet little years a
little lot longer.
Because soon enough these child handprints will get bigger. And bigger. We’ll miss the teeny ones they used to leave behind. When they’re teenagers and they leave the drawers half open, don’t close the cabinets or forget to put a clip on the bag of chips, we might get annoyed. And when we see those teenage handprints all over the stainless and windows and counters, I bet we will wipe them off. And we may even say something to them about leaving sticky handprints everywhere.
But if we were to pause for a second, we might—just maybe—remember when we use to cherish their handprints.
We live in our house. I mean that. Sure, I keep it clean. Pretty dang clean, actually. I’m a Stay at Home Mom and I often spin my wheels cleaning up during naptime and after bedtime just like all the other Mamas out there…only to have the same messes re-made as soon as they wake back up. But I’m okay with the messes. We make a mess when we play. And pull out lots of toys and move from one thing to the other. That’s what I mean when I say we live in our home. It’s not perfect. There are toys all around. There is no shortage of anything kid-related. And you know why? Because we have kids.I have never been the Mama who didn’t want things that looked like baby things in my house. If that’s you, cool. I’m sure your house is gorgeous and if I came over I’d probably drool and want to go home and declutter the hell out of my house and donate every baby-looking thing I own. But, I have babies. I’m okay with baby things. I’m okay with things that look like baby things. Click To Tweet
Babies love color, they love noisy, they love messy. And I’m only 4 years in, but I know that little kids also love color, noise & messes. I’d be willing to bet that this doesn’t change until they “grow all the way up” as my son would say. If then.
I don’t try to hide all the toys. Full disclosure: I do have the biggest toy trunk you’ve ever seen and man does it hold a lot of toys….and no lie, that definitely helps…with how my house looks and also my sanity. (I looked everywhere for the biggest trunk imaginable. Finally popped in Pottery Barn one day and saw it hiding under a bunch of pillows. It was a beat up floor model & to be honest, they were thrilled I wanted it. They couldn’t believe I was even asking about it—they gave me a huge discount just to get it out of there. It was a good day.)
But I don’t try to hide every piece of evidence that children live in my house.
Actually, I display a lot of that evidence proudly. Really proudly. I read once that some celebrity (I can’t remember who but I remember it was a badass man) framed his kids’ artwork all over the house. I freaking loved that idea and totally adopted it. You want to talk about making your kid feel like a million bucks? That’ll do it.
My children go to preschool a couple days a week and we put all their artwork on the fridge. I call it Fridge Art. We keep adding more until we have used up every square inch of space and then we take it all down in preparation for the next round of masterpieces. I kid you not, the one time I didn’t put a craft my son brought home on the fridge immediately, he was disappointed. He knows that’s where it goes & it makes him proud.Side note: Whoever thought people wanted non-magnetic fridges thought wrong. Yes, the stainless is beautiful, but can I get a magnetic field somewhere up in there please? I should invest in scotch tape at the rate we go through it just hanging stuff on the fridge.Click To Tweet
I vote to put everything on the fridge. Why not? It makes them feel so good. Hell, my husband had his best golf round last year and when he got home he taped his scorecard to the fridge next to our son’s drawings. No joke. I guess we never get too old for some things. Putting our “accomplishments” on the fridge is one of those things. (Hey hubby, if you’re reading this just know that I know that golf round was a true accomplishment and not an “accomplishment.” Ha.)
I clean up most of the handprints. But I always leave a couple behind. I love looking at them. They’re basically reminders of the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my whole life—making my kids.
And that is definitely an accomplishment. With no quotation marks.
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