There are so many reasons why I love this picture of my boys. It captures our lives perfectly; giving description to our home without uttering a word.
It’s true. My “normal” involves a lot of dirt and mud. Clean surfaces do not exist in our world. The couch, fish tank, and every possible crevice are packed with; food, toys, and missing items I have long since forgotten about. The socks my kids were wearing before they took this picture are probably still out in the pasture decomposing in the West Texas sun. The above constitutes a bath for them. (We offer spa treatments if you’re interested.) Several days of grime and grit have just been exfoliated from their limbs. I didn’t even have to keep peeking to see if soap was actually being used or their heads were completely submerged underwater; they were more than happy to bathe and rinse each other off in the water hose afterwards.
Individual personalities are pasted all over this picture. Some of the boys were yelling, “Cheese” and others growled it; I could hear, “Hurry up, Mom (so I can sling this mud!)” through their gritted teeth. The artillery of sludge that went airborne following this snapshot covered the yard, trampoline, and back porch. And yes, there were a few tears involved in the battle. (While the “rock-free” rule was instituted, the younger ones didn’t always check their ammo close enough.)
Several articles of clothing were ruined this day. Play attire is a real idea within our home but in all honesty, there are times when I lose track of who is wearing what. Designating outfits for various activities is brilliant except that ours tend to become flexible quite rapidly. I know, I know; I should make them go change first. Occasionally I do but those unforeseen moments…these moments…don’t always last—and sometimes making memories is worth a dirty shirt or two.
You see, I wrote this post for myself today: “To me”. This week has been hard. Raising our boys can be difficult and there are days when I am in the thick of things that I need a reminder of what is important. If I’m not careful, I often find myself going into autopilot. Oh, mom is still in the house but she has checked out. Sometimes I need a picture—a piece of time standing still—to remind me that I am a good mother; to remind me that there are periods in my life when I get too busy; instructing, cleaning (did I mention cleaning?), cooking, and being occupied with other obligations; so much so that I miss out on capturing these flash moments with my boys. Unanticipated laughter and spontaneous fun make for some of the best memories; today I just needed to remember to embrace the gift of joy each one of my children brings into our family.