The morning dance begins early. The house is quiet. I start with a good book. But I only flip a few pages when the room is filled with hungry bellies, opinions, and fresh spills.
Eggs fly onto plates and fill the hungry bellies. My hips sway to early morning music. My feet glide over the toys and food that decorate my kitchen floor. My littlest stops me in my tracks, grabbing me with her slimy egg-yolk hand. My fresh shirt is smeared with the marks of my little girl.
I look down and seize my thoughts, attempting to calm my early morning temper. It's ok, it's just a shirt. She's more important than a clean shirt.
The smudges, smears, and spills—they are a part of who I am.
My middle child runs by me like a blur. He's too fast to catch. His feet scurry down the hall and he dives unwashed-hands-first into the nearest pile of clean clothes.
I lean over a plate of cold eggs. I collect my thoughts. My children are more important than the satisfaction of hot eggs.
I wipe the crusted egg smear off of my shirt. It looks clean, but smells like leftover breakfast.
As a distant melody follows me into my daughter's room we dance to a love song. I kiss her sleepy eyelids and lay her down for her morning nap.
It's only 8:30am. I stand in the hallway and take a deep breath. I think about the marks my children have left on me, and on my house. I want to appreciate those marks.
My children should always be more important than a clean shirt, a clean house, or a hot breakfast. Shirts can be washed, houses can be cleaned, but this morning dance won't last forever.
What would I do without these marks? I love these marks, they are everything to me.