My kids come home from school, kick off their shoes, throw their socks and leave their bags in the front entryway. It can become a walking hazard due to the amount of stuff stripped off of them upon entering the doorway.
Let me tell you this – I’ve told them to not do that. Probably a good hundred times. I have told them to put their backpacks against the side of the wall and their shoes in the bucket and the socks at least on the steps on the way up to the washing machine.
It hasn’t worked.
It used to really annoy me. Well, it still does, and I still wrestle with these feelings of if I was a good mom they would do what I tell them to do or you are not strict enough and your children will grow up to be slackers… but then I go up that flight of stairs, down the hallways, in my room and finally in my closet.
And there it all is.
Stuff. From living.
Socks on the floor next to my bed that I kicked off when I was just about ready to fall asleep. My purse on the floor. My computer bag on the bench in my office. A sweatshirt left next to my dresser. Empty sparkling water cans on the nightstand.
And in that moment, I have the perspective of grace. And more than that, in that moment I also realized how cool it must be for my kids – those moments of coming home – of working all day long and just getting to be. You know what I mean? That just getting to be and kick of your stuff and be happy you are home space in life.
Without expectations and places to go and things to do.
So as I looked around I realized they just needed to be for a minute.
Now, instead of judging or getting irritated I pick up the socks and put them on the steps. I kick over the backpacks to the wall and the shoes to the bucket. They know eventually they need to get put away. They know they can’t stay there.
But, I’m giving that moment, that breath, that joy of being home.
Oh, that sweet sweet moment of home and freedom.
I love them for them in this moment.
Listen: they don’t do it to annoy me. They do that because they are safe here. Free. Loved. And when I tell them after a bit to bring the socks upstairs and throw them in the washing machine, they always do.
Sometimes perspective teaches.
And this time? This time it taught me to stop harping and instead to start seeing that shoes and socks kicked off aren’t because they don’t love me or respect the rules, but rather are simply because, just like me, they are home.
Socks don’t matter in the long run.