From here in my squishy red chair I see the glass of the back door, smudged with child spit and fingerprints. For the first time in my four years in this house I cleaned that window and now my son sees fit to keep it from invisibility. It took a few days after the washing for Luke to exclaim, “Oh, the window’s clean!” I told him to look at it below his knees and he would see our son’s handiwork.
A friend mentioned the other evening that she knew someone who had kept an immaculate house, never a speck of dust, never a dirty dish left on the counter, but it all changed when the grandkids were born. Now this person wouldn’t dream of cleaning off the handprints from her windows. She even shows them off proudly to guests, boasting in the same way grandparents do when they show pictures of their grandchildren. An odd toy here or there, a kid’s left shoe, a print on the glass—memories live in each one and fill the house up with joy even after the kids have gone home to their parents.
I don’t want to wait until I’m a grandmother to cherish every little sign of childhood in my home, even if it means a dirty window. Luke also said, not long ago, that our house feels so much like home now when he returns from work and must step over blocks and balls on his way to the kitchen. He’s right; how can I stress about the mess when we have such a beautiful, wonderful, adorable reason behind it?
So, was it yesterday? I got down on the floor next to Geddy and breathed onto the windowpane and drew smiley faces. He laughed and started huffing and puffing and really mostly spitting on the glass with me. Now when he’s napping I can see our marks and smile again and know that when he wakes up we can add to our design.
(Here is our little window artist who, strangely quiet in the other room one day, was found just hanging out like this-->)