No Gift Returns

Linking up with Five Minute Friday today. The theme is:

Screenshot 2015-06-05 07.08.25We have a really great tradition at our house. At about four pm, we all kinda fall apart.

It’s typical. I feel pretty adult-y until then. We go on bike rides. I feed the cat. We weed the garden (read: I weed, the boys end up looking like they just went to the spa for a mud facial). It’s all pretty normal. “Look at me!” I think, as we buy healthy food at the store, “We are at the store! And we bought kale! That’s what big people do!” And I even pay for the groceries myself. I drive home. It’s all so very grownup.

And then, it turns four. And that’s when the monsters come out.

Yesterday, that was when my sons had some milk and graham crackers (so, not a healthy-ish choice, I know. Graham crackers are on the cusp. Sorta healthy, cuz they’re brown? Perhaps the crackers are a symbol. The graham crackers are a sign that the adultish-ness is starting to break down.) And then, my sweet cherubs spilled their milk. And THEN, they proceeded to try and clean it up. The horror.

Yes, I realize you might be thinking, “Wow! They tried to clean it up! That’s awesome! What responsible little darlings!” Yea, sure.

Have you ever seen a five and a six-year-old attempt to clean up something?

One small one grabs my decorative towel and proceeds to grind it into one spot on the table, thus pushing all the milk onto the floor beneath the refrigerator, where it will soon fester and make my house smell like something died. Along with my soul.

Then, the other one takes a wash rag, and with one corner of it, proceeds to hover it over the gigantic pile of milk on the table and proceeds to wave it weakly about with the focus of a newborn.

“OH MY GRAVY,” Momsie says, “THE DECORATIVE TOWELS. HOW COULD YOU. JUST LET ME” and starts to grimly scrub up wayward milk with the martyrd gloom of Joan of Arc. If Joan of Arc had to clean the kitchen, with two small boys circling her at all times, she would fuss about decorative towels too. I am sure of it.

And then, both children slink away; their job is done.

They have Momsie fully trained.

So, as I’m trying to clean all this, I move the table away from the wall. When I do that, I notice a whole other subset of grime and despair that is lining my walls. Which then makes me see the ucky dust all over the floorboards. Which then leads me to the fact that there dust balls (balls? how?) all over my WALLS. And I want to cry a little. It’s like Sisyphus and his whole family set up camp in my kitchen. I want to cry a little.

f0e2ab11de5657835cdb621b00834259But then, I spied it.

An earring. An amethyst earring that I had lost ages ago. An amethyst earring I bought for myself back when I was in college, from a time long (LONG) ago but fondly remembered. There it was, sparkly and sitting amongst all the disgustingness that is my floor, as pretty as you please. If the milk hadn’t spilled, I wouldn’t have found it…

But you know that. I bet you, dear reader, can tell me already what the lesson is:

Look for the good. There are gifts everywhere. Even in spilled milk. Yep. It’s an easy lesson. God wants you to look for the good in it all.


And now I’m gonna go pour a pitcher of Kool-Aid in my living room to see what I can find there. Maybe a hundred dollars?

Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23


  1. Awesome.
    I would remove all decorative towels immediately and hide them until your kids are in college. My own memories off accidental “company only” towel use still surfaces in therapy.

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