In my neck of the woods- we are finally entering summer. It’s been a slow start this year, but it’s happening at last: hotter days and cooler, lighter evenings where the kids have a little more freedom to stay up later and play outside longer.
We are surrounded by evergreen trees- huge and majestic in their stature. They produce a reprieve of shade in the hot summer days, keeping our house cool, as well as a beautiful backdrop to enjoy out our windows. The lush green branches provide resting places for birds and small squirrels, a beautiful display of natures’ best and a peaceful site to behold.
And along with this natural beauty comes a whole lot of fallen pine cones- and a ridiculous amount of sap! This sticky sap seems to appear on every surface outside- and guess where it sticks best?! Yep- the soles of the feet and the seat of the shorts!
We’ve been living on our property for just over five years, and every season I’m struck by the hilarity of the difference in “messes” each season creates. Muddy boots make for a well-named mudroom in the fall, and slushy wet clothing in winter makes for puddles and layers of strewn clothing in winter. But this season of sappy, dusty feet and clothes has got to be one that requires the most work to remove, and looks just so…dirty!
I had to laugh (and really, you do just have to laugh) when you stick your kids in the bath at the end of the day and the tub water looks like one huge mud puddle by the end of it. And no amount of soap, water and scrubbing seems to gets the sap and adhered dirt off! (Although we have discovered that a little non-toxic “orange cleaner” or any plant-based, all-natural cleaner dissolves the stickies nicely, both on skin and clothing!)
The sheer amount of dirty work around me has left me feeling more than slightly whelmed in the past. Wouldn’t it be so satisfying to have squeaky clean children in great clothes that looked like they walked out of a GAP ad, in their Pinterest-worthy decorated bedrooms, quietly reading great books or playing fabulous games with one another?
Maybe you’re the easy-going, “mess-is-more” type, but if you’re anything like me, I’ve had to learn to embrace the dirt and messes around here. And recognize that they are signs of a full, happy, abundant childhood! The more I can smile, and be genuinely thankful that my kids are healthy and loving life, the more I actually feel the shift in my own heart from begrudging the extra work created to enJOYing the craziness of it all. The atmosphere changes around me- and we’ve got a lot more happy people in our midst.
A smile and a heart of thanks really does wonders- for me as much as for those around me. I’ll be checking out those dirty feet at the end of the day and see them as evidence of the places these kiddos have been and the fun that’s been had. I’ll rub them down, enjoy their wee size and the innocence they reveal, knowing the places they have not had to tread living in our safe, beautiful country. I’ll think of Jesus, who washed his disciples’ feet out of a true love and desire to serve and bless his friends. And I’ll laugh at the days to come, knowing that my God loves to bless me with good gifts. These sweet little dirty boy feet are such a funny part of the story He has included me in.
Laundry Mom~Kali ♥