When I was a little kid, my mom had little notes and drawings we had made hanging on the inside of her cherry kitchen cabinets. I remember she had cut out a little poem from a newspaper that read:
“On Judgment Day, if God should say,
‘Did you clean your house today?’
I will say, ‘I did not,
I played with my children, and I forgot.'”
It still hangs in that same cabinet today, and I try to look at it almost every time I’m there. I have no idea who wrote it, but I’ll give credit if someone can tell me who did.
I always remember this little poem so I can keep my priorities straight. Our home will never be the perfect, put-together house that I would like. But I do cherish my children. Don’t get me wrong, I have days when I wake up in the morning and wonder how I will ever get through the day with three kids under the age of four. I lose my cool
on occasion quite often, and I pray for patience all the time… I just want to have patience right now.
For now, I can only concentrate on the actual cleanliness of my house (You know, clean, but messy). Of course my house is going to be messy. As soon as I get one thing put away, the kids have already dragged out three other things… in a never-ending cycle.
I have quite a few friends – those Type A personalities – whose children’s toy rooms are decorated and organized absolutely perfectly. Anytime we visit their houses, I come home and think, why can’t I do that? Why can’t I be more organized?
And why can’t I? I’m not that person. I’m not naturally organized. And it doesn’t drive me all that crazy to have the kids’ toys everywhere. At the end of the day, seeing the toys strewn about the living room makes me realize how blessed I am to be able to stay home and just play with my children.
Playing together can be such a good learning tool. I always try to make everything seem like play for my children – even going to the grocery store. Kids like it when you just talk to them, and listen to their stories. My three-year-old loves going to the grocery store because he knows it means he gets to pick things out and talk to his mom the whole time.
My own mother did this… I can remember “helping” her bake and cook, and looking back, I realize that it probably took her ten times longer to get things done when we helped. She really has a way of making people, children in particular, feel special. I really hope I’ve inherited that skill at least a little so my kids can grow up knowing that they are a real priority in my life.
So, YES – I played with my children today, and forgot to straighten up my house. I think God will understand.