I was in the church bathroom yesterday changing Faye into her backup dress because she had just spit up all over herself. There was a woman with her daughter in the bathroom, and she struck up a conversation with me.
She is beautiful, how old is she?
Oh thank you! She is 6 months.
Wow, she seems very aware.
Yeah, and very messy.
Oh, they all are.
That’s true, that’s why it’s good they are cute!
Yeah… I think we are all pretty messy though.
That’s all she said. And then she smiled and left the bathroom.
I was left speechless. She was so right. We are all messy. Just because snot wasn’t running down my lip, and I didn’t have drool and spit up covering my dress didn’t mean that I was not a mess. It didn’t mean that I had it all together while I sit there and cleaned up my “messy” daughter in the church bathroom.
She hasn’t even had the opportunity to be a mess yet. If her messiness is all physical at this point, then she is doing a lot better than I am. She doesn’t envy, she doesn’t judge. She hasn’t manipulated people to get what she wants yet. She hasn’t put other people down to make herself feel better. She hasn’t posted a picture on Instagram to make it look like she has the picture perfect life. She is who she is. She comes as she is.
The whole way home from church I was resonating on that single statement. I am a complete mess. Somedays I put on a smile just to appease people. I hide my mess very well, but it is hard to find joy while doing that. Faye wears her mess on her face, and smiles through it. You don’t see the mess because you see the joy on her little face. I want to be like that. I want to wear my mess, and not feel as if I have to hide it, and then find freedom and joy in that. I want to be vulnerable and transparent.
As good as this week was, it has also been a hard one for our family. It seems like there are a lot of changes and transitions going on all at once, and we kind of feel like a rug has been ripped out from under us, and we can’t quite find our footing. We know that there will be a rope thrown out to us at some point, but for now we are just figuring out what we need to do for the time being. The other night Goodman and I were having a conversation, and as we were sitting there, I started to cry. As we were talking, I started thinking about our little girl. I started to think about how no matter how messy our life is, and no matter how messy we are as her parents, she still looks at us with those adoring eyes. She still gives us her million dollar smile every time she sees us. The way she views us is not contingent on how “together” we have things. I want to see Goodman that way. I want to see people that way. I want to look past the mess and see them for who they are. See their heart.
I know I can’t do this perfectly, and I know that it will be a constant struggle, but I think it’s one that’s worth working for. We are always going to have mess in our lives, and the sooner we recognize that and love people despite that, the sooner we are going to be able to have real and authentic relationships with one another.