I have been doing some spring cleaning around my house. With the windows open and the sunlight streaming in, I am motivated to dump the drudgery of winter that had accumulated in closets, drawers, and cabinets. The brilliance of sunlight does a marvelous job of highlighting the dust-bunnies and fingerprints that are dulled by the short cloudy days of winter.
While scrubbing the art board from the kids’ playroom, I found a little gem.
I think my daughter was probably about 6 when she did this. I had just gone back to work full time, and we were all having some growing pains to put it mildly. She had welcomed me home from a two-day conference by throwing a forty-five minute tantrum.
I had one of many “bad mommy” moments, and responded by yelling at her and sending her to her room. I knew what she needed was a hug and my full attention, but I was too caught up in my own exhaustion and full on catch-up-from-being-gone mode to do it. A few days later when I was cleaning the playroom, I found this.
“I Love my Mom and I Mist her a l……” The random “l” was likely the start of an interrupted “a lot” when I caught her in the playroom and demanded she go to her bedroom like she was told.
That was almost five years ago now, and I still haven’t had the heart to paint over it.
That message, along with the many other scars that my house bears from raising children, are my daily reminders that a home is much more than the brick and mortar that holds it together.
I have to admit that this has been a challenge lately. I take pride in a job well done, and if my job is to maintain the household, shouldn’t it be tidy and well organized? How can I help others create beautiful, functional, and organized spaces if my own house looks like a tornado went through it?
As with everything else, I am learning that this too is about balance. I have been guilty of putting the things (or the ordering of things) before the people at times. When it gets right down to it though, living is messy stuff.
Just as the scars on our bodies provide a roadmap of our life, so do the bumps and bruises in our houses. We cover the hole in the dining room wall made by our 7 year old boy and his skateboard, paint over the marker on the walls, clean the glue and glitter from the carpet.
But somewhere, underneath it all, are the marks that say “We were here. We have a story to tell. “ And sometimes, we wear the blemish publicly and loudly to remind us that first and foremost, our house is a home.
Written by: Stephanie Wagner is the owner of Hestia’s Hand in Ludington, Michigan, and a consultant for Allard Design LLC in Spring Lake, Michigan. After spending fifteen years in the field of early childhood development, Stephanie left her full time employment to pursue her passion for interior decorating and writing.