Jelly Handprints

Tuesday nights around our house definitely fall into the “Organized Chaos” category.  Miles and I typically arrive home for the day just before 5:30p.  We eat dinner, as a family, around 6ish.  And on Tuesdays, I’m out the door at 6:15p for rehearsal with our praise band, leaving Miles and Evan to enjoy some quality father-son time.  Getting from Point A (work and school) to Point B (leaving by 6:15p) is a feat that oftentimes involves acrobatics, negotiations, extra snuggles, and spending ten minutes searching for one of my ever-missing flip-flops (hint: it’s probably inside the play kitchen’s oven).  Tuesdays are cray.

I usually get home around 8:30p, and my sweet kiddo is long asleep.  The house is often in remnants of the chaos: blocks scattered from one end of the room to the other, rolls of paper towels or toilet paper unfurled down the hallway, piles of blankets and pillows forming a makeshift mountain in the living room.  You know, the usual.

This past Tuesday, when I reached the front door, I stood and peered in the window before entering.  The light was reflecting in the dining room in such a way that I could see two perfect, tiny handprints on the floor.  Jelly handprints, because PB&J was on the menu that night (organized chaos, remember?)  And instead of thinking about mopping, or at least taking a damp rag to the floor, I stood outside in the quiet, still night, and smiled to myself.  I stood there, and admired those two tiny prints on our dining room floor.  I imagined the game of chase around the dining room table after dinner that inevitably led to the mess on floor, and I laughed to myself, envisioning my boys.  I silently thanked God for my life, for my family, and for those jelly handprints.  Because I know that a day will arrive, sooner than I realize, in which jelly handprints will no longer be around for me to clean up.  Instead, it will be smelly gym socks and scads of homework pages littered across the dining room table.

I say this a lot, but really, Miles will only be little once.  We have just these few precious years before he’s on to the next stage.

Recently, while talking with a fellow mom about her nearly teenage children, she shared a wonderful story with me.  When her children were younger, a piece of wisdom was passed to her: The days can be long, but the years pass quickly.  And I thought to myself that truer words have never been spoken when it comes to raising children in their very early years.  Yes, there are days that call for champagne and confetti by the time bedtime arrives.  But before we’ve noticed, an entire year has passed.  Then another, and another, and in the blink of an eye you’re teaching someone how to drive*, how to balance a checkbook**, how to ask a girl to Prom***.

We are enjoying the little years at full tilt.  If I’ve read, “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?” for the 47th time today, you can bet your tail that if my sweet boy walks over and asks again, “Brow Beeyah?” that I’m going to tally up reading number 48.

Sticky and sweet,


*Rest assured knowing that I will never be the parent who teaches our children how to drive.

**I will also not be the parent who teaches them how to balance a checkbook.

***My children are not allowed to date until they’re 30.  House rules.

Time, slow down.

Time, slow down.