You cannot even walk up to our front door without seeing the first sign that kids live here. There it is, the most perfectly imperfect little handprint pressed right on the front of our glass door.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “you could just Windex the handprint right off.”
And you’d be right. While there are certainly times I do, more often than not, I just don’t. I’ve fully embraced the tiny prints that cover our house and honestly wouldn’t have it any other way.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love a clean house. Like REALLY clean. I’m talking everything has a place, sheets are on a weekly wash schedule, and I don’t go to sleep unless my kitchen is tidy. It’s a whole thing for me, and I own every bit of it. There was a season when the handprints that cover our house were a pain point for me, though. It challenged my ‘neat-freak’ vibe in a whole new way. I wanted my windows spotless, my mirrors print-free, and our tables wiped down.
Seriously, now as a Mom of two kiddos under 5, that is just not realistic!
There was a day a few years back when a fellow loss Mama shared her story, and it shook every fiber in my being. She shared about her great loss, and about how one of her most priceless possessions is a mirror that her little boy had touched. Even though he was no longer here, that little print lived on. What a treasure.
Having experienced great loss myself, that story touched my heart and truly opened my eyes to a world that I have always lived in, but one that is easy to forget about during the day-to-day. The world where I remember that my kids will only be this little today. Tomorrow they will be bigger. And an even scarier world where I am triggered to remember that tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed with them. Their prints are proof of life. Messy, peanut butter finger, filled life.
Today, I don’t keep the handprints out of fear, but rather out of love and acceptance. To me, it means fully embracing this fleeting season of motherhood. This season that my heart longs to last forever, and yet one I know will be over in just the quickest blink of an eye. When I see those 10 little fingers and palms pressed on the glass with the smooshiest nose print smack dab in the middle, it reminds me of how my youngest peeps out the window waiting to spot a puppy or the garbage truck that drives by early in the morning.
When I see two sets of handprints at different heights on my floor-length mirror, I’m reminded of both of my babies. How they love watching their reflections as they have their afternoon dance parties. And when I find the tiniest little poke prints on the tv, I am instantly thrown back to the days where they can’t fully talk, but they can point to their favorite show and attempt to say Elmo in the cutest little voice. So much life, right there in the midst of the ‘messy’ handprints.
If you come to our house today, chances are you will be met with some of my most precious memories. Memories pressed on to any and all glass, mirrored, reflective, or stainless surface in our home. What I would once apologize for, now I embrace. My little ones live here. They really live. And there isn’t a day that passes that I am not so, so, so thankful for that!