Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tiny hand prints.

We have a set of French doors that lead into our office. When we moved into our house two years ago, these doors were beautiful. The panes of glass were sparkling clean and the trim paint was a crisp white.

When we moved into our house two years ago, the kids were early preschoolers. Peter was 4 and Sarah was 2 and a half.

Peter still needed help wiping his bottom, still rode a bike with training wheels and still wanted me to sing him a song every night before bed.

Sarah still used a pacifier, still carried Elephant Blankie and Little Blankie around with her and still wanted me to sing her a song every night before bed.

Now the paint on those French doors is dinged up from being slammed too hard and scuffed from Hot Wheels and dump trucks being crashed into them.  And the pristine glass panes are now smudged with remnants of tiny hand prints and streaked with Glass Plus.

It used to be part of my weekly cleaning ritual. I would spray and rub and shine the panes trying to remove those tiny hand prints.

And I would silently lament my dirty house. The toys. The smudges. The dirt. Those tiny hand prints.

But two years have passed now. Passed too quickly, I have recently realized. And now I let those hand prints linger on the glass panes. I’m not as anxious to clean them off now. Because the hand prints aren’t so tiny anymore.

And all too soon, I know they will vanish.
***************************************
This post inspired by a quote from Dorothy Evslin and the realization that I now smile wistfully at the growing hand prints on the panes.
It will be gone before you
know it. The fingerprints on the
wall appear higher and higher.
Then suddenly they disappear.
******************************************

32 comments:

Heather said...

You should put at the top of this post ***grab your kleenex***
Such a sweet post and so true!

Badness Jones said...

I know. I was cutting the Princess' fingernails last night and I just couldn't get over how big her hands have grown. I remember when she was first born she had 'old lady fingers', wrinkly and thin with too much skin. And then they got pudgy and dimpley, and I know one day I'm going to hold her hand and there won't be dimples at her knuckles anymore - they're already almost gone. Sniff.

Lee and Beth said...

Isn't that the truth. They grow up so fast. That poem brought a tear to my eye.

Evden said...

Iknow what you mean about the handprints. Our storm door is usually covered with prints. Sometimes I wish they were not so many toys to pick up at night, but one day I will wish to have these days back.

Pam said...

Beautiful post, Beth, illustrating one of the many paradoxes of motherhood. Sigh.

Wendy said...

I agree with Heather that there should be a warning at the top of this post about this being a tear jerker. You illustrated it so well. I can remember Sarah coming into the two year old preschool class with that little pacifier and now she is just growing up right in front of us.

Kimberly said...

**Sniff**

I was noticing all of Quinn's little tiny handprints on my deck doors last night. I was planning on cleaning up the living room when I get home from work.

I will not be cleaning the deck doors.....

Jill (Sneaky Momma) said...

This is beautiful. I gotta admit, I'm in the middle of wondering how on earth our house got trashed in three short years. :)
My handprint section is on my curio cabinet, which is hidden by a chair from all who enter my home, but is well-known by me. I'm not sure there is anything more precious than a perfectly made, accidental handprint from one of my girls.

Kim said...

Sweet! Thanks for sharing, it touched my heart.

Debbie said...

What a sweet mama you are! I love this and admire you for being able to enjoy your handprints.

Kim said...

I know just what you are saying! I just get teary eyed if I think about too much! There are times when I wish I could stop time for just bit!

Denise said...

This was such a sweet, sweet post my friend.

EntertainingMom said...

Beth! You had me at HELLO!!! So poignant and so true!

He And Me + 3 said...

so true...you totally should link this post up to Pam's You're gonna miss this Meme. It is perfect!

Corey~living and loving said...

WOW! beautiful in EVER way! Thank you so much for sharing it with me.

jennwa said...

That poem at the end is so sweet and so true.

I know there will be a day I wil miss a messy house with little hands everywhere (and syrup and oatmeal and ect.)

Tracy said...

Common Beth! I like to come to your blog for a laugh...not a cry! :) Beautiful post!

Christina said...

This was a very good post. So true, time will pass, and soon those prints will vanish.

Joan said...

Love this post. First time visitor here.

I have 2 teens and it truly goes by too fast.
Blessings

Grandma T said...

This post is so sweet....and I know you must think I've been lazy, but I sometimes just can't clean those prints off my front door....just because I know from experience...they vanish all too quickly! Beautiful post...beautiful you and so very blest!

Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Not to take away from the sweetness of this post, but I stopped wiping the handprints because I grew lazy. And they just reappeared in minutes.

KEEP BELIEVING

MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

You so nailed this Beth. Isn't it amazing how fast time flies and yet it's the perspective of time that makes it so special?

Nap Warden said...

*sniff* stop growing...

Jaina said...

Aww, that made me get all sniffly. I've sent several "stop growing up" memos to my brothers and cousins...but they don't seem to be listening...

Lisa said...

we are on the same page, Beth! How do they get so big so fast??? love this sweet post!

Pam said...

I am so glad you decided to link this up to my carnival! Welcome!! I love this, I also have a door like that...

Tanya said...

I have this poem, my 4 year old brought it home from pre-school a year ago, it came on a piece of construction paper with her two handprints on it.

Sometimes you get doscouraged because I'm so small
And often leave my fingerprints on furniture and wall
But everyday I grow and I'll be big one day
When all my dirty fingerprints have long been cleaned away
So keep these prints of my two hands to help you to recall
Just how big my fingers were
When I was very small.

Bonnie said...

Great post thanks for the reminder!

Gayle said...

My oldest just turned 16...I would love to have those tiny handprints back. Lovely post.

Andrea said...

The storm door, on my front door which EVERYONE opens, is covered in handprints and lip prints - they've been on there for quite some time! If it bothered me too bad I would be cleaning that door everyday and I just don't have time for that...I like my tiny little hand prints too!! : )

Goldylocks said...

Awe so sweet and so true. My fellas are 10 months old, there is a mirror on the wall at the bottom of the stairs that we always stop at to visit. There are little hand prints all over it that I don't ever want to clean. I never did do those little handprint kits that someone bought for us and it makes me so mad for being a slacker.

Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

Oh, I know that feeling! Mine are growing up and there have been so many times I wish I could press the "pause" button. Great post!
-Kim