I walked into the house, ignoring the chicken poop spread across the white siding next to the back door. Yep, you read that right. Chicken poop. Not sure how it got there, but the location suggested a little person. I didn’t bother asking, knowing I wouldn’t get a straight answer. All hands get washed and life goes on.
How did I get to this place? The kind of place where chicken poop on the side of the house is a reality?
Living with four kids on the farm is messy, man. At any given moment you can find little piles of unfinished business all over the house and in the yard. Abandoned block buildings. Blanket forts. Art projects of all kinds. There are days where it feels like all we do is pick up after little people who buzz around with the energy of nuclear powered bees, and it’s exhausting. But I’m learning how to find peace in the chaos, and to see the messes for what they really are. A life well lived.
We only have these moments for a little while. Our children will one day grow up and make lives of their own (perhaps chasing after their own little people), and in the spaces that were once filled with little messes we’ll find an emptiness that honestly terrifies me when I think about it too much.
I don’t want to take any of this for granted. I don’t want to look back and realize I spent too many days focusing on the mess instead of being present in the moment. And more importantly, I want my children to look back on these days with affection as they remember a childhood that was filled with laughter, adventure and freedom to experience life.
I’m honestly still struggling in this, and I don’t get it right every time. I still get upset when I come in from the garden to find a million cups on the counter (all of them half-full of water). But I am getting better at finding the lesson hidden in the moment. Sometimes the lesson is for my children, and sometimes it’s meant for me.
There’s a balance to everything, and some things I’m getting better at just letting go.
Life is messy. But it sure is beautiful.