The other day my three-year-old lost a dry erase marker while coloring at the table. We found it hours later – in my bed. The blue marker was now all over my white down comforter.
Yesterday my daughter had a bloody nose, guess where?
Yes, in my bed on my white comforter. Years ago this would have irritated me, angered me even. Today it doesn’t. Today it somehow made me laugh. Today I cherish the stains on my not-so white anymore comforter.
This comforter means a lot to me. Not because it’s stayed perfect over the years, but because it’s worn. It’s full of blue marker stains, blood stains and popcorn stains from tiny hands enjoying a cherished movie night. I’ve tried to wash it, but the stains remain. Someday soon I will replace my beloved comforter with a new one, but for now I can’t bring myself to get rid of it.
You see, I don’t see blue marker stains when I look at it, I see my daughter’s wild spirit. I don’t see butter stains; I see movie nights in “Mommy and Daddy’s bed.” I see blood, sweat and tears. I see real, raw, beautiful mementos of my kids fleeting childhood. I see love.
This comforter is my symbol of motherhood.
It’s messy, yet loved. It’s stained, yet beautiful. It’s full of memories and moments I never want to forget. I used to look at the stains around my house with irritation. I used to see dents in the walls and get mad. I don’t anymore.
I now see through a different lens. I see through new eyes, because I’m a new person – a new mother. I still make mistakes and over react at times, because I’m human, but my outlook is so different than it used to be.
A diagnosis will do that to you. It’ll change the way you see things. It’ll turn tiny handprints on clean glass windows into beloved memories of happy children. It’ll turn dented walls into a feeling of gratitude picturing my children playing together. I don’t see mess, I don’t see chaos – I see a life full of beauty.
As moms we often get upset when things get ruined. I still do sometimes, but much less than I used to. I’ve learned to cherish memories instead of things. I’ve learned to laugh at messes instead of cry. I’ve learned to value the stains and the trials, because they mean life is being lived to the fullest. The mess is just part of motherhood.
My cozy white comforter used to be cleaner, whiter and brighter, but it wasn’t full of life. Now it’s full of reminders of happy kids. It holds much more than stains; it holds joy and for that I’m grateful.
Each morning when I make my bed, I see bright blue marker stains. I don’t get mad, I smile. I smile because life is supposed to be messy. Messy is what makes it matter at the end of the day. Messy equals a life lived well.
Someday when I replace this comforter with a new one, I will secretly be sad. I will miss the blue marker stains and the buttery finger print stains from cuddly movie nights. I will miss the moments of holding my babies when they were sick. I will miss the stains, the messes and the reminders of our lives.
I will miss my messy white comforter because it reminds me of the precious, loved and wonderful memories of motherhood.