Once upon a time, I didn’t have any children and I never stepped on Legos. Then, there were many children in my house and even more Legos. And now I find Legos in every room. Usually by accidentally stepping on them. Which really hurts. But one day, my house will stay clean and I’ll miss Legos. The End.
Do you document the chaos in your house? Have you ever photographed the mess in your kitchen after you made an amazing meal? Or how about what your living room looks like on a lazy Sunday afternoon, when the kids have been playing and breakfast dishes are still on the coffee table?
I usually hate to have any photographic evidence that my house has been messy. I like to pretend that my house is always super clean and organized. (Ha! I have four kids–having an organized house is actually just a wish I have…) I’ll tidy up before I take a photograph or I’ll choose an angle that minimizes the background and all the toys, shoes or backpacks that are strewn about the floor.
So I don’t take photographs when the kids are playing. I don’t remember ever taking photographs of my living room with all the baby and toddler toys the kids had spread out everywhere. Which was my life every single day for YEARS. And I certainly don’t want you to see how my kids’ bedroom looks like it threw up on itself again ten minutes after they just finished cleaning it! (I seriously don’t even know how it happens. It truly baffles me.)
But aren’t those the photographs you love to look at? The ones that show real life? The ones that show what was really going on when you were pretending you had it all together?
My kids like to spread the Legos out, looking for the right piece in the right color. But, for some reason, it never occurs to them to pick the mess back up when they’re done playing. And after they have built their masterpieces, my kids hate to take apart any of their “creations,” wanting instead to showcase them on a shelf.
So, of course, Legos are everywhere and it drives me nuts. I find them in places you shouldn’t find Legos. Seriously, single Legos migrate to my office and my bathroom. A stack of Legos shows up on my bedside table. I even found a Lego in the bottom of the refrigerator.
Sometimes, you’re so ready to clean up the mess that you forget to enjoy it.
But it won’t be long before my kids no longer play with Legos, when they don’t have time for toys. What’s a pet-peeve today, I know I’ll cherish as a dear memory when my kids are grown.
You may not appreciate the messes at the moment. I know I don’t. But years from now, photographs of your regular, average day will be meaningful.
Today, I challenge you to stop and appreciate the chaos. Photograph the things that are part of your “every day.” Preserve these small little moments before they slip away.
I wish I had taken a photograph of my son’s walnut shell “family” that littered the sidewalk and patio for a whole summer (they looked just like little hedgehogs!). Or the play restaurant the kids made, with plastic food and tables and menus that overflowed to three rooms. Or even the huge mess in the kitchen after my daughter made her version of a gourmet breakfast for her brothers.
Take a moment today to snap a few photographs of what your life really looks like. Document the mess and the chaos. Years from now, you’ll be so glad you did.