A Child’s Beautiful Mess (Perfectionism, Seeing through the eyes of a child, Order, Perspective)

We finally did it. Her playroom, her room, and my office are all clean. It took several days of working at it here and there to get her bedroom up to par. Today, minutes after it was finally golden, I saw her carrying a little, smushed cardboard box in with an assortment of tidbits on top.

Me – “Oh no. That’s not going in there. We spent hours getting your room cleaned. Don’t start bringing garbage in there.”

Her – “Yes.”

Speaking from the adjacent room

Me – “No. You’re not bringing garbage in there.”

Her – “It’s not garbage. It’s life.”

Me – “What?”

Her – “It’s not garbage. It’s life.”

I had to head back to her room to hear this one…

Me – “What is life?”

Her – “It’s happiness, joy, it’s… my toy.”

In an instant, what I reactively viewed as messing up all the work we had done and dismissing all the parenting effort that it had taken was transformed. Her deformed cardboard box filled with nicknacks was a child’s treasure box and toy. It was life.

And, in her now clean space, it looks like it belongs in a little girl‘s room.

Silly, Daddy. She straightens me out all the time.

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