Smudges {Memories of the Fingerprints}


My house is the cleanest when we have friends over to visit. I don’t mean like your own kids and their spouses; they are family, so they get to see the real you and your messy house.

We invited two families from our church over for pizza, just to visit and laugh and eat. Our house was in disarray and we needed to clean it. We worked HARD and we knew that our friends would not have cared if our house was a mess, but they were our motivation to clean the house. It was looking good. We got done in record time, so I had some time to clean the ceiling fan, dust all the picture frames, and do all the things that I normally run out of time to do.

I grabbed some cleaner and began beast mode wiping down handles and doors and lightswitches, when I was stopped dead in my tracks.

Smudges. Little fingerprint smudges. 

I couldn’t bring myself to spray and wipe away the smudges. I took a long look at them trying to decide what to do. They were on the light switch, the door to the garage… little tiny fingerprints.

I was flooded with memories of the first time Max could touch that light switch. I remembered how he would scoot the chair over to the switch and turn on the back porch light to see if there were deer or if it was snowing. Little fingers, little smudges. He’s 10 now and on track to be taller than I am before he hits middle school. He doesn’t need the chair to reach the light switch anymore.

I remembered Eli, who has always been a little peanut, and his excitement when he was tall enough to turn the handle to the door out to the garage, little fingerprints all over the door. He is growing like a weed and has no trouble turning that doorknob now.

I took a long look at them trying to decide what to do.

I left the smudges right where they belonged and decided maybe I’d clean those little fingerprints off another time and maybe not. Our friends that visited later that night, didn’t say a word about the smudges and I doubt they even noticed.

I’m thinking of leaving the smudges there for the long haul and letting my sweet grandsons add to the smudges. Oh goodness, won’t that just be fantastic to have smudges on top of smudges? After all, smudges are just memories of those little fingerprints.

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Cheryl Brackemyre
Hey local mommas! I grew up in Centerville, but I now live in Wilmington with my husband Tony. Together we have 6 kids, Joe, and his wife Allison, Austin, and his wife Hannah, Sydney and her husband Hayden, Andrew and his wife Lauren and our littles, Max and Eli. Did I mention we are a little nuts starting over with this parenting thing when we are 45+? We are officially adding new titles to our names in 2022- Tiki and Jeep (our version of Grandma and Grandpa). My husband and I are both ministers, and we get to work together in a local church. We were both married before and brought our families together in 2010. After a few years of marriage we felt God's leading for us to adopt. We added Max to our family in 2014 and Eli joined us in 2017, our quiver is officially full! Blending our family has been an adventure! Add some ex-spouses and two birth mommas and we have ourselves a crazy crew! Coffee is my love language. The beach is my happy place and I long to have my toes in the sand.


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