Kids are messy. Cleaning up after them is part of part of being a mother.
That wisdom came from my mother, who had nine children and cleaned up many different kinds of messes.
When things get messy, they get interesting. Creativity starts flowing, interest heightens, you get lost in the project. Discovery occurs. Problems get encountered and solved. Confidence and self-esteem build through the experience.
None of this happens if you have to worry about “Mom getting mad about a messy kitchen,” or “Dad getting upset that his tools didn’t get put away.”
It takes time to clean up and teach them how to put away the tools where they belong in the workshop and kitchen. It’s about the process, the moments spent together experimenting and getting flour on the floor and a pile of pans dirty.
One of my kids’ favorite traditions was making homemade applesauce. We’d fill every big pot on the house with apples, simmer them and put them through the food mill. Every counter would be full of sticky bowls and utensils. Your feet would stick to the floor. It took a good half hour to clean up.
Hot fresh applesauce is SO delicious. I can still smell it and taste the sweetness. We froze it and enjoyed applesauce for months. It’s a sweet memory that showed my kids to be adventuresome in the kitchen, and perhaps, in life. We worked together and took turns.
Self-esteem and self-confidence can’t be bought at Target. Self-esteem and self-confidence have to be developed and nurtured through trial and error, encouragement. trying again, and celebrating success.
Summer offers the luxury of extra time to explore and get messy. Indulge them and yourself. You’ll be surprised at the results.
What are some of your summertime memories where you got to slow down, try something new or make a mess?