It’s probably not the first word that comes to mind, what with all the diapers, spit up and crumb-filled car seats. The general messiness doesn’t lend well to an idea of romance. Yet, Francis Mallman, celebrity Argentinian chef, loves mess. The Netflix documentary series Chef’s Table featured him in their first season of the show. He dons a poncho, sunglasses and a cigar as he cooks all his meals over bonfires on his remote island in the mountains of Patagonia. “[The mess] is a sign of a good time”, he says, or something like it.
How can I apply the same romance towards motherhood? Dirty dishes, spills on the floor, empty wine bottle(s)- all evidence that a family lives here. We play here, we love here. We share stories and learn continuously here.
At the end of a meal, I bet Chef Mallman sits. Maybe he smokes a cigar. He reads some poetry to those that will listen. Maybe if the night goes on he even leaves the dishes till the next morning. A sink full of dishes isn’t a nagging chore to him.
A sink full of dishes is evidence of full little bellies and bath/bed time coming soon. Laundry piled up isn’t a sign that I am behind or that my children have nothing to wear. It’s evidence of play with its mud, sand, stumbles and falls. Maybe the things we stress about doesn’t matter as much as we think they do.