Dear UPS Guy,
You came to my house today with a massive shipment of Tide and Charmin, thanks to my handy Amazon Dash buttons. I’m the hot mess that opened the door – my children’s blood curdling screams flooding down the stairs, swirling around our feet and washing over the walls like a tsunami of sound. I’m the mom that noticed your side eye as my children giggled, squealed and in all honestly, sounded like a heard of elephants above your head. Yes, there are only two of them. Yes, they sound like two dozen. I’m the mom that noticed your judgmental glances around me as I signed for my supplies, the same mom that saw you give her the once over – eyes not resting on the areas I am used to having men look, but at the finger prints, the smudges and my hair that is currently doing it’s best to remind me that I truly have no control over anything in my life and the thought that I do is merely an illusion I have created. I currently look like a walking Q-tip, and you know what? That’s ok.
I’m the mom with the sticky counters, the messy floors, and toys everywhere. The coffee table in my family room currently looks like a 20 car pile up on I-75 because after playing with his hotwheels, train set and any other wheeled toy, Teeny didn’t put a thing away before going in search of his beloved sister. I’m the mom that is barely keeping the train on the tracks balancing a full time job in academia, two children, Papa Bear and everything else I decide to do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. I’m the mom that cooks two different meals for my children when I have a day off so that they each get what they want – no, that doesn’t make them spoiled, that makes them loved. My house isn’t perfect most of the time. I don’t have the time or energy to keep it spotless, even though I feel like I am constantly picking up, wiping down, or washing something or someone.
My lovely little UPS professional, I’m also the mom that doesn’t care if you don’t like my loud, sticky, messy house. I’m the mom who has children who are grounded because I spend time talking to them, not at them. I’m also the mom who spends time with them rather than keeping a spotless house – there will be decades to have a spotless house, I have them in it for less than two. I’m the mom who realizes, all to keenly how precious these years are. How the squeals are the sound of best friends being made that will last a life time. The screams are screams of joy, not anger. The running and chasing is simply the sound of the beginning of a lifetime of being their brother’s keepers. My house is a house of love. Love isn’t perfect – in itself it’s an emotion of paradoxes – messy, sticky, rowdy and loud one minute and calmly reading, coloring or just being in the next. I’m the mom whose children know they are loved, whose children are secure that I will never not love them – they know because I tell them. They know because I talk to them, whisper it to them in their sleep, kiss their eyes and tell them in the mornings, hug their tiny frames after school and tell them again, tuck them in with stories and songs and pledges of my unrelenting, unrepentant love for these two tiny people that God picked out specifically for me. I know that they know because when they aren’t paying attention to me, I hear them saying the same things to each other.
Mr. UPS man, I’m the mom that wouldn’t trade one sticky, rowdy moment for anything in this world. Not one single moment – even the ones that just added gray hairs to my head. Not the ones that took years off my life with worry. Not even the ones where I really think I could sell my children to nomads for a solid twenty and some Starbucks. Without those moments, you don’t appreciate the quite moments. You are not capable of appreciating the echo of your tones, the repetition of your words as they pass from Tiny to Teeny. Ultimately, the depth of your ability to appreciate those quiet, loving, precious moments isn’t born in calm, it is born in the strife. Embrace it, appreciate it and be grateful you are able to experience them both – that you have the stress so that you can embrace and appreciate those rare pearls that are cast to bring you back to your self – make you know that on days when you swear you are doing everything wrong, you really are doing something right.
So, Mr. UPS delivery man, judge me. Please, feel free, because I am unabashedly forging my way through a forest of responsibilities – most paramount among them are the tinies. As long as they are happy, grounded and loved, I have done my job – sticky floors or not.