It was about 6:30 the other morning and I was watching the sunrise from my front porch. The picture of perfection. Birds chirping. Enjoying my quiet time and a cup of caffeine right there in my hands. Then I looked up and noticed the holes in the grass in my front yard.
I couldn’t look away.
They were compliments of my 7 year old baseball fanatic son who lives in our front yard, playing one imaginary World Series game after another. These holes were the result of his being thrown out of the game for yelling at the imaginary umpire, his grand slams, his stolen bases and walks to first base because the pitcher hit him with an imaginary ball. Every one of those imaginary games have claimed just a little more of my lush green grass smack in the middle of my front yard.
“I’m just going to spread some grass seed and straw in those spots and tell him he can’t play there anymore.”
That’s the thought that bounced around in my head until I heard THAT little whisper ask, “Now why would you do that?”
That’s his field of dreams, his sweet spot. That’s the place his imagination, his skills and talents, where he comes fully alive.
Why would I take that away?
Over my shoulder is the glass front door to our house. The same sunrise illuminated a thousand tiny fingerprints where our two year old stands daily. This is her window to the world. It’s here that she taps the window with excitement when she sees her mommy, or me or her sisters come driving up our hill to our driveway. This is her box seat where she cheers big brother on as he plays his imaginary games, yelling “Hey batter batter, juuuust, juuuuust, juuuust SWING!”
Now my wife cleans that glass door, but in the span of a day or two you couldn’t tell it, and it would seem to make sense to simply tell our little princess to not touch the glass any more.
But why? In the process of life, holes are going to be worn in the grass. Fingerprints are going to find their way to windows and table tops and peanut butter will inevitably be spread on walls and doors.
It’s part of life.
I’m speaking to the perfectionist in all of us who works so hard to portray the perfect, ideal life. Our wide eyed selfie society tries so hard to cover the holes, wipe away the smudges from our windows and give the impression to the world that everything is perfect and ideal.
That’s not real life.
Spouses fuss and fight. Kids scream and yell at each other. The dog pees in the floor. The car breaks down – again. Bills have to be paid – every month. The laundry piles higher and higher. This is life and it’s here in the holes, the smudges, the unattractive parts of every day life that we truly learn to live and appreciate the good and the bad.
So if I can, allow me to encourage you to leave the holes, leave the smudges, don’t sweat the small stuff because this. . . this is living.