I have a love hate relationship with Play-Doh. I’m sure there are many who share my sentiment. I came downstairs yesterday to a proud look on Corban’s face and conspicuous pieces of the stuff on Brielle’s shirt. At first I thought he’d tried to feed her the Play-Doh. He quickly reassured me that no, “I just put it in her sweater, Mommy!” It’s in the baby’s sweater, it’s under my table, it’s mashed in my rug, dried on his sleeve, and floating at the bottom of my water glass. It’s also one of the only things that captures Corban’s attention for longer than ten minutes, so it has that going for it.
Corban got his first set of Play-Doh for Christmas last year (from us, no less). I remember opening it to immediate anxiety. It was so uniform, so one color, so neat, so compartmentalized. And I desperately wanted it to stay that way. I may have even googled ideas for Play-Doh preservation. I tried to convince the 20 month old that, “No, Bubs, the blue and the orange shouldn’t be smushed together.” We all know that I
tried failed. 10 minutes in and my Play-Doh fears were realized.
Fast forward a year, and I’ve come to grips with multi-colored Play-Doh smashed into containers and topped with lids that don’t match. I’ve even come to realize how beautiful the ribbons of teal, purple, green, and yellow are when artfully sent together through the extruding press (actual name for the spaghetti maker, I looked it up). Had I spent ridiculous time and energy preserving the facade of neat and tidy, I would have missed out on the beauty of embracing the messy. And that, my friends, is gospel truth. Grace gets into our messy, bleeds out of our neat and tidy boxes, takes up camp in places we may not want it to be, and turns our hidden ashes into beautiful ribbons of color.