You’ll Miss the Mess

The past crashed in out of nowhere

While I vacuumed today,

And I swear it sucked my breath away.


For years I navigated that clangorous machine

Around all manner of childhood debris:

Burp rags and teething toys,

Then legos and tea cups,

Dollhouse ottomans, and little collections of God knows what.

Later came so many nylon gym shorts,

Books, binders, fusty old socks,

Riding boots complete with a coating of horse hair and dust-

It seemed endless.


But it wasn’t.


And the wide open spaces

Of perfectly clean carpet

Waiting for me in every quiet room today

Didn’t bring me any joy.

The absence of clutter

Made the job simpler

But, oh so much harder

For my heart.


I shut that trusty old workhorse off

And just sat in the silence

To cry out the grief

And work through the disbelief,

That those years are really gone.


They’re really, really gone.


I want to say to all you dear mamas

Still cleaning around the detritus

Of a full and messy house…

Sit down and enjoy the wreckage.


Whether you have one, three, or eight,

Go grab those havoc-wreaking creatures

You’re blessed to call “Your Kids”

And join them in their play

Or just listen to them laugh.


Because some day,

I know you know,

They’ll move on

And mess up their own house

They’ll secure with their own job,

In their own life,

And this will be good-

But it sure won’t be the same.

Some days you will miss them

With breathtaking intensity.

Believe it or not,

You’ll even miss the mess.



july 2014





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4 Responses to You’ll Miss the Mess

  1. My heart breaks for you my dear, dear friend. Time flies on razor-tipped wings that can cut the heart to shreds, doesn’t it? I don’t see myself aging (wrinkles and platinum hair notwithstanding) but children all around me grow up and get taller and move on. We mortals do struggle with the ability to be satisfied and all-in in the moment. It’s often not until the moment is gone that we realize the sweetness of it. Ahh, I guess I’ve found another new goal. In the meantime, I’ll be praying for you and your heart.

    • Thanks Traceybee. It always helps to name it and write it down. It clings a little less when I let the moment be what it is and name it. Amazing how much it contributes to the “moving on” process. ❤️

  2. Kathleen says:

    This is very true. And yet rather than reflecting on what used to be, now we are free to serve our God in ways we never could before.

  3. So sweet and so true! Thanks for the reminder to take time to enjoy my craziness :o)

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