I remember before Lucia was born pondering the items we put on our baby registry and strategizing with my husband about how we could keep the baby stuff to a minimum. We have a really small apartment and we didn’t want to buy all sorts of unnecessary items that would clutter our space and our lives.
Nearly six months after her birth, I would say we’ve stuck to that minimalist lifestyle rather faithfully–we have a few larger baby items, but most of those are borrowed or used, and we’ve been calculating regarding the toys and small items we’ve acquired over time.
However, keeping all of those items we use daily in their right and perfect place in another story and a losing battle. Inevitably pacifiers, books, toys, and burp cloths clutter the coffee table and couch, Lucia’s play gym remains on the guest bed in her bedroom, and the bathroom becomes overladen with washcloths in the sink and hanging to dry.
What’s funny is this very thing that we agonized about–having Lucia’s clutter take over our apartment and our lives–is something that now brings me great joy. Now that she’s here, I don’t mind living with her stuff, being reminded of who she is by the things that mark her very central place in our life. In fact, I’m very happy to let her things lay strewn about our apartment as a sign that we’re living life with her, not perfectly, but with deep commitment and love.
This is one of the things that’s surprised me about life and parenthood–learning to love the mess of it all more than I imagined I could.
What wisdom of the messes in your own life have surprised you?