The place God calls you is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Because I Have Kids

I remember visiting my aunt and uncle when I was young...maybe 13...perhaps it was the trip I was 16. Regardless, I specifically recall a conversation my aunt and I about kids in the house, in her house. I'll preface this by saying my aunt is a phenomenal mother. Her kids are wonderful and she's just one of those people around whom kids are immediately comfortable. She was always encouraging and embraced the differences each of her (4) kids possessed.

Ok, our conversation: I remember we talked about her kids' artwork. Her counters were covered (not in a crazy cluttered way) with artwork and other kiddie paraphernalia...lunch bags, tupperware and the like. And she liked it that way. Everything was clean. And, she was happy with a bit more mess because it reflected the reality of her life.

And then she shared with me about her good friend, her neighbor, who also had a small handful of offspring. Yet, the difference between their houses was night and day. Her friend had no real sign of kids around. The counters were pristine. The pictures on the walls were professional. Every thing had it's place and every place had a nice looking thing. Her house looked very very perfect.

But it didn't reflect her life. And personally, I find that very sad.

Don't get me wrong. We all know I'm Type A. I like my counters clean. I like to walk from the kitchen to the laundry room without tripping over 5 matchbox cars on the way. I get that warm fuzzy feeling when I walk into the boys' room and everything is folded, put away, and the floor is dust bunny-free.

That said...
I. Have. Kids.

And my life needs to reflect that. Because if you can walk in to my house, and there is no sign of kids, then there is no sign of real life. My kids are my life. And that's not a bad thing.

So, while trying to figure out ways to make our house, into our home and give it that clean, Type A, yet kid-friendly feel that embraces the culture in our life, I found this idea...

...if you can look past the shag, you can see the real beauty in their work.

And the volumes this simple display speaks.

I can't site the blog I found it on. So I won't claim any sort of copyright laws or even say it was "my idea". It's really basic. A simple concept. But it shows my kids that I value them and I value the time and effort they put into their work. So even though we have a tack board in the laundry room full of their artwork, it is still in the laundry room. What does it say when I put stuff up in a place no one will see it unless I point them there? Maybe I'm over analyzing. But, I think they're going to clue in if I keep all that they make hidden so-to-speak, and present only "perfect, good looking stuff" out for guests and family to admire.

And thanks to a little sticky tack, a few clothes pins, and several minutes of their hard work, (let's not kid ourselves my boys have the attention span of a puppy) my kids know how much I value them. Without speaking a work, we are reminded daily that this is a kid-friendly house with kid-friendly walls. We are a home that welcomes children. We embrace the chaos that is this life. This is our life. It's messy. It's loud. And sometimes, it's not perfect. Actually, it's never truly perfect. But it's ours.

And that's how it should be.

1 comment:

FTD said...

...ah... but this just shows me even more how 'perfect' your family is :)

I absolutely LOVE this idea. Especially since work on a fridge can get covered or overshadowed - here you are hanging them as the works of art that they are :)

Although I don't have kids, I have fond memories of when I was a teacher - proudly posting every child's work on the walls (...not just the 'perfect' works :)