25 Jun Tell it all Tuesday – Muddy Boots
After my shower this morning, I walked into a trail of dried chunks of mud and leaves from the front doorway to the kitchen and all across the rugs in between.
Dirt was strung all across my white carpet and muddy, dirty boots and sweaty green socks were in my entryway.
My first instinct was to be angry with my daughter for the mess I found all over my floor.
And I was angry… grumpy… irritated…
I jerked the broom and vacuum from the closet and started cleaning up the mess, mumbling irritated things under my breath.
“How many times have I told you to come in through the garage?! Didn’t I teach you to leave your muddy boots out there??”
“What will my neighbors think if they stop by and see this mess at my front door?”
As I swept around the corners and through the kitchen, and down the hall, picking up leaves all down my hallway and chunks of mud off of my white carpet…
Why did she leave me such a mess? She is usually more careful than this.
It was then I realized, that today my daughter is working both of her jobs, one in the fields and one at the restaurant, to save enough money to go to college in the fall.
As I was cleaning gratitude filled my heart and I smiled a little as I cleaned.
I was grateful for the mess.
Grateful my oldest daughter was up this morning at 5am, ready to work, lunch made, hat and boots on and ready to meet up with her group to go work in the fields.
She spent the next 5 hours in the field until she raced home, ran through the front door instead of the garage, grabbed her clothes for her second job before she realized, in her hurry, that she had tracked mud through the house.
After which she ripped off her muddy boots and sweaty socks and left them by the door. Then she grabbed her clothes and threw them on and she was back out the door to go work her second job at the taco shop in town. Where she will spend the next 6 hours working.
She will come home exhausted, hungry and tired after working a long full day.
Where will my focus be today? On the progress she has made and the work ethic I’ve desperately hoped she’d learn?
Or would I scold her?
Scold her for leaving mud across my floor and dirty boots in my entryway with nasty grass stained sweaty socks smelling up the family room.
Or should I clean it up quietly and when I see her, praise her work ethic? Her ability to multitask, plan, save and spend hours working to save money for college in the fall.
What will she remember?
How do I want her to feel about this day so she can do it again tomorrow?
Will she feel defeated, even though she worked hard, it still wasn’t good enough?
Or, do I want her to remember that she worked hard; her mom loves her and is proud?
What will give her the strength to try again tomorrow?
I’m Grateful she has learned the transferable skill of work.
Life is about progress not unattainable perfection.
Having a hard working, loving, smart and kind daughter is the perfect life to me.
Do I love a clean home? Yes, but I knew in this circumstance if I expected perfection, I would immediately halt her progress.
Will I take a hard working kid over a clean house… any day.
What if instead of clean homes being a sign of motherhood success, instead homes with muddy boots in the entryway, and leaves on the floor meant you were a successful mother?
What if to everyone that visited it meant you were successful in raising a kid who values work and knows how to set goals and achieve them.
With this new perspective I cleaned up the chunks of dirt, leaves and mud, but the boots… the boots stay. ?