- How to Make a Real Mess of Things
Okay seriously? Our weekday afternoons are rushed with homework and much shuttling of children. Rushed, with papers and afternoon snacks wrappers flying and you know how it is, moms. A certain kind of chaotic mess. Yesterday afternoon was a different kind of mess. We stayed home. No one had homework. My painter-boy Bode and I literally ran to grab the paints and get outside.
The kiddos see me painting large canvases outside with different objects like cups and brayers and dozens of brushes and sticks and bubble wrap and eggshell cartons and anything else I can dip into paint. Given the chance I will paint anything paintable.
One of those canvases inspired Bode because he had this awesome idea! Lay a large canvas on the driveway, paint his scooter tires, and then ride all over the canvas. Brilliant! I said. Do it! Yes, encouraging! Yes, fostering creativity!
Were those my first thoughts? Nope. I wanted to say No. Too Messy.
Why do I do that?
Mess in any form is burdensome. Do not make a mess, do not be a mess, perfection is more important–that you are in control is more important. You clean up messes, you do not make them.
News flash! This planet is one big old mess. Children still starving in Africa, women entering into sexual slavery at an epidemic level, violent crimes and abusive politics and deadly viruses within our own borders and around the world.
Our world is a TOTAL mess. One day my son will truly see this and I want him to be ready for it.
I want to raise him to know that perfection isn’t the goal. Love is. Taking action is.
A good way to start training him is to let him be comfortable with chaos and mess. When he’s older and ready, we will make sure he knows the real deal–what’s happening around the world and how God can use his unique gifts to help all people. One day, I hope, he will lean in to the mess and help–not be scared or annoyed.
So, I said Yes! Paint your tire wheels! In fact, paint your whole scooter!
Really? The whole scooter, Mom?
The whole thing.
And then it was time for dinner and he washed the mess off of his hands, at least for today.