But It’s Our Mess

We flew out to Texas on a plane.

ON A PLANE.  This was a huge big ol’ deal, since it had been ten years for some of us, never for one of us, and one has severe nut allergies.

We did it.  By grace and about a thousand wipes, we got there with no incident or problem, and we were thankful for it.

When we landed in Austin, we headed to baggage claim and then over to the rental car area.  The Fella had reserved a van, but we weren’t sure if it would have vinyl/leather seats or not.  We approached the agent, and I explained my need to be able to wipe down the seats before we could leave to ensure my child’s safety.  “So I really need for the vehicle to have vinyl or leather seats and NOT fabric ones.”

(I learned a long time ago from watching my Mama that it never hurts to ask.  And to be very specific about your needs.  The worst they can say is no.  It was rare that someone told her no, by the way.)

He heard me.  Which is huge for me.  He nodded.  “Yes, of course, we don’t want you to have any problems.”  He started working on getting us one that would fit the need.

When it was all said and done, the Fella found us over with the luggage and said with a smile, “They’re upgrading us. No extra charge. A Tahoe with leather seats.”

Wow.  Okay.  That really meant nothing to me except that I was thrilled to be able to wipe it clean before we got in.  Aub and my Fella seemed really, really happy though.  (Aub loved it so much she is thinking about naming her firstborn after it.  Ahem.  Please no.)

It was a nice vehicle.  Rode smoothly.  Had a radio and AC.  And IT RAN, so all was good in my book.  We enjoyed having it during our trip for all the to and fros we had to make.

We returned it on Monday and flew back home.  When we arrived at the Atlanta airport, we waited on the sidewalk for the Fella to go to the long-term parking area and get our vehicle.  As he pulled up to the curb and opened the side door, Cooter breathed in and let out a huge sigh of relief.

“Yes!  Our very own messy car!”

Oh buddy.  I get it.

When we got home, things were still in their spots.  No fairies or house elves or displaced princesses had shown up to tidy things up while we were gone.  It was cluttered, a bit messy, and exactly as we had left it in our scurry and hurry to get to the airport on time.

And it was ours.

There’s a huge comfort in that for me.  For all of us, I think.  To be home.

My writerfriend Cynthia at Flotsam of the Mind shared a photo essay over on her photography website called “Who We Are.”  She is a talented photographer, and the thing that I love is that she makes the clutter in her house look like art.

After returning home from our trip, I realize that our clutter and mess is some form of art.  It expresses who we are, what we love, how we live…..it is a canvas of our family.

I’m not saying I wish things weren’t a little neater around here.  Show up at my door and more than likely I will be apologizing for the mess or pulling a door to so you don’t have to get the full on “opening night” art show.  But returning home to it, seeing it with “new” eyes, I realize that the things that our mess says I’m pretty okay with.

We are busy playing, learning, reading.  We cook and we eat.  AT LEAST three meals a day.  Our puppy is happy because she loves her toys.  We love books. And more books.  The phone is off the charger because we just spent an hour talking to someone we love.  The keys are on the chair instead of hanging up because someone just ran out to the store to get something we need and can so thankfully afford.  The clean clothes are there, an amalgamation of the people who live here and wore them and will again.  The mismatched socks in the pile where I was doing a final sort (and then they are out of here)–nope, sorry, they’re not art.  They are still the bane of my existence.  (But I totally had an idea of mounting them on a canvas…..yes, that could be kind of fun.)

My point is, what surrounds us I am thankful for.  Ten years from now when Cooter leaves the house (or doesn’t as he threatens says quite often) for college, I will miss this clutter.  I will miss the scattered cars, Legos, books, pencils, stickers, sequins, clothes, socks, purses and shoes for days…..

So yeah, Cooter had it right.  It might be a mess, but it’s our mess.  And I am thankful for it but even more thankful for those I love who are here to create it.

What a beautiful mess.

Love to all.

I’m not as talented a photographer as Cynthia, and I’m not completely comfortable with our art show just yet, but here are a couple of shots I took after I read “Who We Are.”  These are both from our Back Porch Roost where work, play, and school all happen.  Sometimes all at the same time.  

IMG_8163 IMG_8164

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5 thoughts on “But It’s Our Mess

  1. I love photography but there’s no way I’m capturing photos of our home school mess – well unless I tidy up a little bit. I have the kiddies home schooled and a four year old who constantly wants to be entertained. All three of the school kids also require special tutoring for dyslexia and their favorite tutor is mom, of course. I cook, I clean, and goodness of I am not the main one cleaning up around here. But imagine having six people living in a house with only one cleaning! My oldest loves to cook . . . To clean, not so much. There’s still chocolate on the curtain from the last chocolate cake she made. I keep telling myself I need to wash that and get distracted and then forget. At the end of the day – I am present for them. I am teaching them – learning with them. We read stories together – write or own and even write poetry together. I’m not going to complain. We are busy making memories.

    1. I love the image of the chocolate on the curtain! I walk by something a hundred times and don’t notice it until someone is coming over and I think–most folks probably don’t have stuff like that out. Notice I only shared two pictures. I had several more–but NO. No reason to parade all our crazy out there. 😉 “Settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep, I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.” My Mama loved that poem. So true. I love that you homeschool too. What an amazing job you are doing! Being present is what matters most, isn’t it? Thank you for sharing your story. Grace abounds.

      1. Homeschooling is not easy – but it is the most rewarding thing I have done. My kids really love learning – and I love that we spend a lot of time together. As I always tell them – they are a piece of my heart walking around on this earth. I was so excited when I heard you homeschooled too!

    2. The chocolate cake made me think of the grace juice stain on the ceiling at my Mama’s. When my brother was little and still sitting in the high chair, one day he slammed his grape juice down so hard, it flew up in the air and splattered a little on the ceiling…..and a lot on the floor. Mama got it all cleaned up except for the ceiling. There was a purple spot or two up there for the longest time. I keep meaning to check and see if I can tell where it was. My sister Mess Cat and her family live there now. I need to remind myself to do that. 😉

      1. We used to have a huge stain from applesauce on our ceiling and cabinets. We try to cook healthier – and we often use applesauce in our baking. I was able to get it off the cabinets – but not the ceiling. We just painted our house ourselves this year and I was so glad to cover the stain with a new coat of paint! I can’t tell how many years it was up there – taunting me! Every time I saw it I would grimace! It’s so funny to see I am not alone!

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