*The washcloths are all missing and it's bath time. Because they make excellent shoulder pads for boys who want to play football in the back yard.
*Avery wants to pretend like she's a dog. This means lapping up water from a bowl on the kitchen floor. It also means rolling around on the bathroom floor after a bath with brother trying to dry off her "paws." (This is rather unfortunate because my bathroom floor is not the cleanest place in the world right now.)
*School takes longer than anticipated because Aidan just has to finish his bridge.
*Mud is tracked into the house because little people love to work in the garden.
*I come home to a messy living room because the kids can't stop thinking and learning and creating and exploring.
*I find tweezers on the front porch. Again. Because someone must have been listening when we read about insects today. (It also explains the jars of creepy crawly creatures on the nature table . . . .)
*Bedtime takes forever. Again. Because there's a law that sisters must whisper and giggle before falling asleep.
* * * * * *
The house is finally tidy. The children are finally asleep. I finally have a bit of quiet.
I know it will only be a matter of hours before the cycle begins again. The washcloths will disappear. There will be mess and mud and mistakes.
But there will also be grace.
I will need to fight the urge to hurry, the constant drive to cross items from my list. The instinct to race through the day and miss the beauty in the mess and the mud and the mistakes.
Because there will also be grace.
I will need to remember that I just taught Little Miss how to tie her shoes. She can't learn it in just one sitting. I'll need to sit with her tomorrow. And the next day. And the next.
I'll remember that sitting with my daughter while the world spins and jolts and rushes about me is the very best thing that I can possibly do. Because she'll figure out those shoes in no time. She'll skip away to embrace even bigger challenges. Challenges that will often be messy and muddy and full of mistakes.
And in those moments, I'll be ever so thankful . . . for grace.