The mess that's a gift...






















Without my glasses, I squint in the dark across the room. The red numbers on Louis' alarm clock on the dresser flash 3:12 am, and I sigh. It's much too early for prednisone, but I can't stay in bed, so I shuffle my way to the bathroom and groan at the bags under my eyes.

In the lounge chair in the living room I doze off and on for an hour or so - heating pad wrapped around my wrist - before I consider unloading the dishwasher and gathering up and sorting the piles of dirty sheets and towels and Emily's laundry from a weekend retreat and the tablecloth sticky with pancake syrup - and I smile. What a gift.

I decide to wash the bath mat first - the one black with dirt that I'd just washed last week before little boys played hard in the dirt pile and tracked black clumps through the house and into the bathroom to take off shoes - and I laugh. Honest.

It's the mess that's a gift - children and grandchildren laughing and playing {hard} and eating - and the mess that's left behind makes me smile.

It's the mess that means that people I love filled this place - that they stayed long enough to eat and bathe and change diapers and sleep and wake up to papa's Sunday morning pancakes.

It's early afternoon and the last load of laundry is spinning and I miss the mess already.

{Photos}a beautiful, dirty, messy weekend on Pollywog Creek