My friend stopped by the other night to pick up something she had left at my house. My one year old was already asleep, so I let her in and we whispered in the entryway. After a minute she looked behind me and smiled. "I love it," she said.
I turned around, not quite sure what she was looking at. I hadn't done a thing to my house all day. In fact, as far as I was concerned it was still the usual disaster of toys, shoes, and children's books that it usually is. But then I realized that's exactly what she was looking at.
"It just makes me so happy," she said. "It looks lived in and happy."
I kind of laughed and started explaining the messes around the house. Now that I realized how messy it was, I felt a little embarrassed, but then she said something that changed my mind. She said she hoped that her home looked just like that when people came over and saw her kid's messes. She hoped they saw a well-lived in, cozy, happy home.
I loved that thought.
After she left, I turned off all the lights and walked around my home. Normally I rush around before bed thinking of the never-ending to-do list I have.
The norm is something like: Oh right, I need to call and take care of that tomorrow. And I cannot forget to run this errand. And I can't put this off any longer! And look at the dishes, ahhhhh.
Then sleep. Then wake up and be a mom, wife, author, primary counselor, friend, sister. Do all the things. Then repeat.
But instead, I ignored the to-do list and stopped to appreciate the mess in front of me. I felt this wave of gratitude thinking of the thousands of prayers that I said before Kenzie came. Of all the time that I so wished for sticky floors, scattered toys, and baby socks and shoes all over the house.
Tonight I looked at that mess and got teary-eyed. I thought about how not very long ago I wished for this more than anything else-- and I am so grateful that this is my norm.
It's chaotic. It's crazy and messy and most of the time we can't find our remotes. But I love it so so much. This is exactly where I want to be.
And you know what? Life doesn't have to be perfect to happy. Or in my case, my home doesn't have to be spotless to be a happy.
So next week when the days get just as crazy and the dish pile looks just as high, I hope I remember back to this moment and remember what true happiness is.