the joy of mess

tonight as my daughter was attacking a cup of vanilla ice cream, i did my fatherly duty and wiped some that started trickling down her chin. she immediately looked at me as though some grave injustice had been done. “no daddy!”

“what? i was just cleaning your chin. it was messy.” she furrowed her eyebrows, clutched her cup of custard close to her chest, and continued to recklessly wield her spoon like a proud toddler. she’s usually one to clean up her own messes (surprising for a 2 year old, i know), but tonight she obviously wanted to to show her dad how to truly enjoy some dessert. it made me wonder how often i thoughtlessly oppress my daughter’s vibrance in the name of cleanliness and order. she’ll have plenty of discipline and organization in her life, so what am i doing to encourage her to venture into the chaos of carelessness if in the end it means joy and creativity? my thoughts then turned to myself. how often do i not just allow, but push myself to make a mess? to abandon my need to control things? to wander from routine into the realm of unrealistic possibilities just to see what’s there?

my daughter kept on attacking her ice cream with no intervention from me. eventually she even started flinging spoonfuls of it around the kitchen, because apparently, that’s the best way to enjoy a cup of ice cream.

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~ by bradherndon on February 2, 2010.

One Response to “the joy of mess”

  1. Wondering who cleaned up the “flung spoonfuls”?

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