Now, onto my fingerprints and footprints...the other day I went up into Cameron's room. Ugghh, it was a mess. Clothes all over the floor. Bed not made. Footprint.
I went to Anna's room. Much the same. Her bed was made, but her room was a mess. Footprint. I walk past the office, and it's a mess with Anna's clutter. Footprint.
In the den there are little pieces of junk (leggos, stylus from the DS, minature DS games) inbetween the cushions of the couch. Fingerprints.
And Sara, she is not immune because she is so small. Oh no! I walk into the bedroom, barefooted of course, and step on one of her small legos! Fingerprint.
I clean the kitchen from breakfast, only to walk in there and find "stuff" - glasses out on the counter, wrappers from something on the butcher block...fingerprints. Laundry - just when I think I'm done, Cameron tells me he didn't empty his PE bag so I need to wash his PE clothes. Or, better yet, since he changed at school and threw his clothes in the car and didn't bring them into the house when we got home, I need to get those out and wash those too... footprints.
There is a wasp in the hallway that was killed with a book and then just left (under the book)...fingerprints.
I was very frustrated recently with all these little "fingerprints and footprints" around the house. I wanted to walk into a room and have it be clean. I wanted to clean something and have it remain clean for more than 5 minutes. What would that be like? I cleaned up the "fingerprints and footprints", knowing that they would be back.
Then I remembered the days before kids. I remembered what that would be like. Before the days of fingerprints and footprints. I remember the days when I would get dressed for work and wouldn't end up with spit up on my shoulder or jelly fingerprints at about knee level on my pants. I remember having time to get myself ready for work, have a leasurely breakfast and get only myself out the door. I remember sitting at the dinner table and not having sticky spots on the table or crumbs all over the floor from messy little ones. I remember being able to eat a meal and not have mine get cold because I'm busy feeding a little one, or getting a drink for someone, or reminding someone that they need to eat their veggies. Days of not assisting with 6th grade homework or projects. Days of not having to help with money addition and coin recognition. Days of not having to try to teach a little one the difference between her elbow and her eye. I remember not having to bathe anyone but myself....
It sounds like I had it made when I didn't have little ones... but I didn't!
The days of me caring about sticky fingerprints at knee level are over. When I'm at work and I notice the little bit of food on my shoulder because Sara wiped her face on my shoulder on the way into the bathroom to wash her face, I smile. It reminds me of the blessing I have in that little girl.
When I walk into the kitchen and find milk left out on the counter for hours and it's starting to stink - I
I've learned that the fingerprints and footprints of life do not matter. A spotless house is not the be all and end all. So what if I have a little bit of something on my clothes? What matters are the fingerprints and footprints that my kids are leaving on my heart. The crud in my hair because little hands hugged me while they still had peanut butter on their hands... sure, it's a hassle, but those little hugs are fingerprints on my heart.. things that I will remember forever. When my kids are sick.. sure it's a hassle and I get sick of wiping snotty noses and forcing medicine down throats - but the joy that comes in snuggling up with a sick child to make them feel better... they are the footprints on my soul.
I don't know what you get to take with you when you leave this earth. I know it is not physical things, I know it is not money or status... but somehow, I hope I take the fingerprints and footprints that have been left on my soul by my precious family with me.
I need to remember that the next time I step on a lego!!!