I look around our cluttered playroom and tell myself when it looks like the ones I’ve seen on Pinterest I’ll start a list of fun projects for the kids.

I look at my kitchen and tell myself when I can find the Tupperware lids and have invested in some decent pots and pans I’ll get better at planning meals and cooking with my kids.

I look around our backyard and tell myself when we’ve pulled up that corner of weeds and trimmed back those bushes I’ll spend more time out here in the evenings cheering on the impromptu soccer matches.

I look at our dog-chewed, baby-broken bits and pieces of crayons, mismatched markers and old pencils and tell myself when we have the right cupholders, the pretty boxes, the artsy containers we’ll use them more.

But the thing is. This is my one life.

I’ll wake up tomorrow morning and there will be three kids raring for me.

And the kids didn’t get the “we’re waiting on perfect” memo. They’re all about now and yes and let’s just do it.

They aren’t keeping score of how clean the kitchen is before we make the brownies. They are impressed by large cardboard boxes. And moms willing to crawl into them.  Give them a tray of flour and their choice of kitchen utensils and you’re the coolest.

These kids – they’re not in a holding pattern until the house grows up and looks like I imagine a grown up’s house should look.

These kids are traveling at warp speed. Jackson will be seven in August and I’m done waiting on perfect staging.

I will hug his lean frame tonight as he climbs the bunk bed ladder.  I will use old gold pushpins to let him hang whatever photos he’d like on his pinboard wall that was there before we moved in. And whatever he chooses to wear tomorrow will work for me.

I will tear off as many sheets of white construction paper as Micah cares to paint without once worrying about how to frame and hang them. I will wait till he forgets he painted them and then throw them away. And we’ll paint more tomorrow.

I’m over presentation. I’m going for participation.

This is your one life.

This is the memory.

Quit waiting for the perfect version because what if in the meantime the expiration date on that moment expires?

Build with boxes.

Chase them barefoot.

Pull weeds together.

And sippy cups work just fine for the art supplies.