Dear Children: A Letter to the Two Who Made Messes {Day 22}

Dear Children,

You were two little rascals, that’s what you were!

Look at that food on your face. It’s everywhere and you didn’t even care.

I can see it in your eyes, the way you’re squeezing him tight. You two were in cahoots that day.

You left the table just like that, out to have fun any and every way you knew how.

You thought it would be a blast to gather your favorite things, bring them upstairs, and drop them one by one over the banister to the first level.

I let you do it, I’m not really sure why. Maybe it was a cold day and we were stuck inside, maybe I was tired, maybe there was no preschool that day, maybe I wanted to get dinner made without you under my feet, maybe I was just letting you off the hook for a while.

Whatever the reason, it didn’t matter to you. You had fun!

By the time you were done dropping all those things over the banister, the first level was a disastrous mess. Pokemon cards were strewn all around an Ariel purse, Barbie backpack, Tinkerbell figurine, and miniature Madeleine doll. A sheep that played a lullaby when you pulled the string and teddy bears you got as newborns were among stuffed animals thrown in the pile.

Between the mess at the lunch table and the mess at the bottom of the stairs, it was by far the messiest day we’d had to date.

But you know what? Your dirty little hands? Your dirty little faces? That disaster you made at the bottom of the stairs? It didn’t matter one bit that day, and it doesn’t matter one bit today. In fact, I’m glad I let you make that mess! I’m glad I took pictures to mark the occasion – the messiest, most disastrous day we’d ever had! Because life with little ones isn’t about keeping things neat, tidy and perfectly placed all day long. Life with little ones is about marking moments, living life to the fullest – while they’re still little.

Years have passed, and you’re not so little anymore. Your faces haven’t been that messy for years, and you’d think it was a lame idea to throw things over the banister to the first floor. You’re both way too cool for that.

Though it seems you’re all grown up big now, one day I’ll look back on pictures from this week, this month, and realize you were still – little kids. I’ll long for these days, I’ll wish I could make you little again. And most of what I’ll remember will be good.

So if I’m aware, if I’m living fully alive and in the moment now, I’ll take movies and capture more photographs that will remind me – your childhood was wonderful, I let you be kids, we lived life to the fullest, together. And it was good.

So thanks for getting down and dirty, creating disasters that remind me we’re alive. I’m blessed to share this beautifully messy life with you.

All my love,


*If you’d like to read more from my #31Days Letters to the Unthanked series, click here for the landing page where all the letters are listed and linked!

  1. Nicole Newfield says:

    Love this! Very good reminder to all of us moms!

  2. Rachel Arntson says:

    I LOVE it!!! You are right, Amy. I did not take nearly enough photos of those moments. The pictures of my kids are posing at Christmas and birthday parties. They are not the day to day life moments. Don’t stop taking photos.

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