Blue Crayon

Today Beckett colored on the wall with a blue crayon.  And guess what?  I didn't flip out.

This might not seem like a big deal to those of you who have already conquered the demon of perfectionism but, 3 years ago - heck, 6 month ago, that would've darn near ruined my day.  You know what changed?  No, I haven't resigned myself to the whims of my children. And no, I still won't ever allow Little Mermaid stickers all over my car windows {aka. the parental version of a white flag}. The eyes through which I see that blue mess on the wall has changed.

A few months ago, I visited my grandmother whom I haven't seen in years {a tragedy, I know}.  We were sitting around chatting about what life has been like for her since my grandpa passed away and she mentioned that recently a nephew of hers came by the house to help her fix a few things that had taken a backseat to my grandfather's cancer.  While her nephew was there he noticed what looked like a poorly patched dip in her kitchen ceiling and he let her know he could take care of that too.  She refused.  See, she told him that the patch is a memory.  And no, she didn't care to fix that.  

Of course I had to know what memory it was and with a smile on her face she told me the story of a raccoon that had gotten into the attic once.  With my grandpa away at work, my dad grew tired of hearing the coon scurrying back and forth above them so he decided to go into the attic to shoo him out.  Right away, he fell through the ceiling, leaving a huge hole and a giant mess.  According to my grandmother, he also left "a memory".

My dad passed away a few years after {I was barely 9 months old} and although the patch could be repaired she told me that she never wanted it to go away. Every morning as she stirred the gravy and turned the bacon, she stood under that memory.  Each time she cooked a family meal in that kitchen, she had that memory, and him, with her. And now I can see the memory too.  

Sometimes, here in the trenches of raising little ones, it's nearly impossible to see past the popcorn on the rug, the sticky apple juice on the floor, and the shoes that never find their way into a closet.  So I'm being honest when I say that this new perspective has lifted a huge weight off of my shoulders. When I look around my imperfect house, I can now see memories instead of mess.  I see my kids.  I see my husband.  I see our life.  And goodness that I don't care to "fix" by erasing our existence.  

This life is far too precious, far too short, and far too important to let a blue crayon ruin the day.  

This has been a balm to my heart and undoubtedly is refining my heart. Thank you, grandma, for that enormous nugget of wisdom.

I am forever grateful.