You know, I was supposed to have a few quiet moments, in between loads of laundry and during my baby's nap, to read. And I know I was supposed to write
One of the first things I encountered when I went to my room after breakfast (well, after my kids ate breakfast), was a messed-up bed.
I make my bed almost immediately after I roll out of it, so I don't love seeing it a mess an hour later. But you know what, today I didn't care. In fact, it made me smile! I snapped the picture to remind myself later--on days when I just might forget. It made me smile because I heard what went on to cause my rumpled bedspread.
My boys had played a fierce game of Nerf-gun wars just before I came upstairs. They squealed, laughed, screamed, jumped, ran (apparently onto my bed...or under the covers), and generally had a fantastic time of it! As I re-made my bed, I considered whether my reaction should have been to teach them to respect other's property and belongings, and make them fix my bed. But by this time, they were on to the next bout of energetic fun. And I realized: sure, I could lecture them or make them fix the mess they made, but I would rather re-make my bed ten times a day if it meant they were having a blast and enjoying each other's company. Because in many families, that is rare. And I don't want to squelch it. Besides, if I shut my bedroom door, their war-zone square footage is greatly decreased. And well, that's just not as much fun!
What took place next, after I allowed them to play, rather than harping at them for messing up mama's bed? They went outside together. They fed worms to our chickens (sorry if that picture isn't appetizing to you!); they played a competitive game of knock-out basketball; then they played catch for a half hour. And now? It is clearly time for another Nerf-gun war!
I love that they are playing together! Seriously, I think had I fussed about my bed and communicated "appropriate ground rules", they would have felt defeated and frustrated...and given up the idea of playing altogether. We mamas can unintentionally inhibit our children from great play and enjoyment. Oh that we would lighten up sometimes! Yes, I am that crazy, possibly irresponsible mom who has allowed her kids to jump on beds and off of bunks beds. I let them play outside when it is drizzling and chilly. And I don't faithfully correct potty-talk. I think life (the youthful, playful, innocent child's life) is too daggone short! I want to them be allowed to goof off, be rowdy, and get messy...although admittedly, I don't love it when my 5-year-old runs out to play in a soggy yard wearing her brand new shoes.
Honestly, any time I catch my kids playing together happily, without my direction or coaxing, my mama's heart is so delighted. I don't know if anything in this world brings me more joy.