Pardon the Mess


I’ll admit it: I prefer a tidy house. I feel good when the dishes are done and the counter is cleared. I’m easily disturbed when piles stay piles for too long. I like the structure of a good plan.

Is it an Adultitis-fueled trait? Perhaps. But I do find that I am more present, relaxed and creative when clutter and chaos is minimized. In general, I don’t think it’s a terrible trait to have. And I don’t believe that an Adultitis-free life is one that disregards any sense of order.

However. I do find it helpful to regularly remind myself of some simple truths:

Sometimes budgets get blown and well-made plans go poof.

Sometimes grass stains are inevitable and torn jeans are unavoidable.

Sometimes eggs get broken, milk gets spilled, and the kitchen gets dusted in a fine layer of flour.

pardon-the-mess-250The most direct route is rarely the most scenic, and sometimes wrong turns can lead to the best discoveries.

Sometimes a scaled-down replica of the Wisconsin State Fair takes over an entire bedroom for several days.

Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we planned, expected or even hoped.

Adventures are rarely tidy.

Sometimes the best memories arise from the biggest messes.

How about you? What’s your favorite “messy” memory?


  1. Ann Engles says:

    Of all your great messages, I especially love this one. The slogan, “Pardon The Mess. My Children (Grandchildren) Are Making Memories” would look great on a t-shirt, apron or plaque. Hope you’ll design them and offer them to us, your fans.
    Thanks for all the inspiration you provide.

  2. Paula says:

    When my brother and I were young we use to take a roll of yarn and wrap it around our entire living room. It looked like a giant spider web! My intention each time was to make a cradle for one of my baby dolls to lay in like a hammock. Each time was a success!!!

    We also use to build “tents” for camping in our family room out of folding tables and sleeping bags. I even made a bathroom in it one time.

    Another time we took our camping idea outside. We used the picnic table as our main structure and the child sized picnic table stood up on its side as our bathing area. We put in a toddler mattress that had a plastic cover on it for the bed & blankets covering the tables to protect us from the elements. Unfortunately, it stormed that night. Our plan didn’t work, but that didn’t stop me from taking a very cold “shower” in there the next day with the garden hose!

  3. Once when my kids were small, we made slime (borax and white glue and I-don’t-know-what-else.) The kids said it HAD to be neon green so I dumped a bunch of green and yellow food coloring in it. They had a BLAST patting and squishing and sqeezing. They were laughing so hard that the neighbors (two teenaged girls) heard us through the open windows and came over to investigate. One of them had a morbid fascination with the slime. She was totally grossed out by it yet … just… couldn’t… resist … At one point both of her hands were coated in it so she screamed and started shaking her hands. Bits of neon green slime went flying EVERYWHERE and I do mean everywhere — ceiling, floors, blinds, curtains, light fixtures, ceiling fan, stove top plus all of us. We sat there in stunned silence as slime dripped down our faces. Just then a rather large drop splatted onto the middle of the table. Dead silence, then outrageous laughter. Neighbor girl was mortified but the rest of us were laughing too hard to really care.

    Yeah, and glue dries and sticks, especially to fabrics and painted surfaces.

    It’s been nearly 16 years and I am still finding slime in odd places.

  4. Angela Kovach says:

    I was working with my children I teach at early head start, they were all about 1yrs old. I put a big piece of paper on the floor taped and pour many different colors of paint on it. I proceeded to let the children dressed in just diapers crawl all over the floor in the paint they were laughing and smiling. After they finished I had a big tub of warm water will baby soap for them to play in. It was one of the most fun activities I’ve done.

  5. Naomi says:

    My favorite messy memory is from when is was 3 years old (34 years ago…). My dad mashed up a banana for me, on the table, without a plate, with his bare hands. Loved it!!!! Love him!!!!!

    • Funny how those simple, little things are the things that stick with us the longest, isn’t it?