A few weeks back, the middle kiddo we were looking after walked downstairs carrying a blue sharpie in his hand, with the marker smeared across his chest. He was supposed to be napping. Our stomachs sank.
We went upstairs to see if his, uh, creativity, had made its way to any other part of our house. Sure enough, we found a huge scribble spot on our antique wooden schoolhouse desk that lives in the landing. It wasn’t that big of a deal because 1. the desk was free on the side of the road a few years back, and 2. we knew we could get it off pretty easily with a good scrubbing.
But then we turned around and saw his masterpiece: he had colored on every. single. rail. post. going down the hallway. We took a deep breath and sat there in shock for a moment. This is what you hear about kids doing all the time but for some reason we never thought it would happen because we, “are always going to keep an eye on them.” (insert eye roll emoji here). But it happened. And, surprisingly…we weren’t as upset as we thought we’d be.
PJ said something the other day that really stuck. He mentioned how he always worried about our sofas and chairs and rugs and tables getting ruined or messy or scratched. But then the kids happened and we realized: suddenly those things didn’t seem as important as they did before. What does seem important are things like the kiddos’ happiness, their ability to express themselves and just be kids, their well-being, and to make sure they have fun along the way.
It’s funny- before them, something like that would have put us in the worst mood and voices would have most likely been raised. Now, we have a better understanding of the importance of letting go of the little things in life (material stuff, mostly) and realizing that kids are kids and these things happen. Is it frustrating? Of course. Is it worth it? Absolutely.