This article is continued from “Easier Isn’t Always Better

     So, on my way to the cupboard with a box in hand to clean out the offending tableware I had a moment of pause. Eating off the same bowl for every meal? Washing out my plate in between courses? Certainly a practical solution – but is everything about “practical?” I have a bit of a “thing” for dishes, and have about five different color options and styles in my cupboard. I like to shake it up a bit. I like to pick a dish that is going to compliment my food. Really. Stop laughing!

     My point is this. It would be easy to just have 3 shirts and 3 pairs of pants in everyone’s closet. Less laundry! But what about personal expression? What about variety? What about going with the mood of the moment?
I could remove all photos, knick knacks, and decorations from my home. No more dusting! But what about memories? What about aesthetic value? What about pretty?
I recognize that as a mother with so many responsibilities it is easy for me to fall into the practical, routine, and utilitarian. And don’t get me wrong, I love a good paper plate and a bag of instant mashed potatoes just as much as the next girl. But I have to be careful that I also remember that part of my job as a mom is to bring warmth. It’s to welcome. It’s to beautify.

     Yes, I need to teach my children to clean and pick up and follow a routine. But I also need to teach them to take the time to make it special. I need them to learn to use their imagination to enhance their everyday responsibilities. I want to demonstrate to them that the duty of life can still be filled with joy and expression.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not judging this sweet woman who came up with a creative way to address a problem. Kudos to her. But for the Kerrs, variety is still the spice of life.

     I don’t want my children to ever feel like caring for them is a drudgery for me. If I was having friends over for dinner, I would put out my best setting. I would prepare and clean and create an inviting and warm environment so my guests would know I anticipated their visit. And although, I realize that family meals are much more frequent and less extraordinary, I still always want my kids to feel like I made an effort for them. Even if it just means that they get to use a new bowl.