Messes. Oh, how I hate messes! God showed his sense of humor and gave me 5 children, 3 of which are boys that love to make messes. It’s a constant battle with myself to just let them be kids and make messes.
For example, last week my 3 year old decided his snack should no longer be food, but a toy instead. Normally, I wouldn’t allow this. Food is NOT to be played with! But I thought, eh, what could it hurt? Just this one time?
An hour later my son was still sitting there, crumbs everywhere, pretending that his trains were covered in snow. He was so quiet, so intent, and exercising his imagination. Tension has been high in our home the last few months as my husband is buying us a house. It was almost as if this “mess” broke the tension for my son and I, allowing us to just relax.
After about 2 hours, (Yes! He played quietly and alone for TWO whole hours!) he sweetly asked if he could clean up and then helped me vacuum up the dreaded mess. The mess that turned out to not be so bad. The mess that taught me, “Hey, lighten up! This little boy won’t be a little boy forever and you’ll regret not being messy all the time, not just occasionally.” It was gone in less than 2 minutes and Tommy has not once asked to make a mess of crumbs again.
Children should be allowed to play. They need dirt, paint, mud, play doh, and all kinds of other messes to learn. Think of all the stuff our generation did as children. Since when were kids supposed to be kept in a bubble? It seems so often these days children are made to grow up so fast. Childhood should be long and drawn out, but in general it’s just not that way anymore. Kids are dealing with grown up problems at young ages. Kept on strict schedules and have too many activities. They’re expected to spend many long hours on homework instead of being outside. They’ve become lazy, entitled, and picky. Even babyhood has been shortened. They are NO LONGER kids, but short unprepared adults. There isn’t even time to train them up in the way they should go because so much time is focused on perfecting their behavior instead of growing their spirit.
Obviously, I’m preaching to myself here. But, does anyone else feel this way?
To be continued…