There was a woman named Lyn who was a perfectionist in every way. Her house was always spotless. Her white carpet was never stained with a single drop, or sprinkled with a solitary crumb. Every item had its place and was organized into tupperware, folded on shelves, and stacked in order from tallest to shortest, biggest to smallest, or at a 90-degree angle. Should something be out of place, even if it was only a pillow that had gone astray from the neatly made bed, Lyn would become despondent.
Even her yard was manicured to perfection. She had the greenest grass, the weedless-iest garden, and the cleanest sidewalks. In fact, her favorite day of the year was the first snow-fall, for this meant she had one or two days when she could take a break from her endless laboring and the yard would still look absolutely flawless when covered with a smooth, pure white blanket of snow. Today was that day. And it couldn’t come at a better moment, for her family would come celebrate the holidays with her in the morning.
After she did her daily scour of the house (back-breaking work in fact), she admired the immaculate yard from her window. The snow that fell was level, pristinely white, and absolutely uniform. She would finally have an evening to relax and for once, enjoy the fruits of her labor.
That’s when, to her utter horror, she saw the neighbor children make their way towards her yard. No, no, no, no! She thought as she helplessly watched the unthinkable. Those little urchins tromped right into the center of her lawn and began building a snowman. She flew down the stairs and out the front door, but it was useless. The destroying had begun. With a look of terror on her face, she watched the children make footprints, snow angels, and snowball trails through the once clean snow. It would do no good to stop them now, and she trudged back upstairs in defeat while they finished the damage.
In the morning, it was all she could do to get out of bed and face the catastrophe of the day before. Still, she couldn’t bring herself to look outside at the mess. She knew she must prepare for her company and when the doorbell rang, she answered it with a frown on her face and tear in her eye, for the shame she felt of not having a perfect yard.
“GRANDMA!!!!” her grandson yelled in delight when he saw her. “You built us a fort to play in!” he shouted, unable to control his excitement.
Through blurry eyes, Lyn glanced over his head and noticed what the neighbor children had created. It was a masterpiece of engineering and any child’s dream come true. An enormous snow fort, complete with different rooms, levels, and surrounded by a snow wall. She watched in shock as her grandson ran towards the snow fort with full force. Not more than a few minutes later, the neighbor children also came to play at their fort and made fast friends with Lyn’s grandson. They stayed for hours and had more fun than they could recall in recent memory.
Lyn realized that her grandson thought her a hero and smiled at the thought. But she knew the real heroes were the neighbor children who created the fort in the first place. And to thank them, she baked her perfectly delicious chocolate chip cookies and invited them all inside to enjoy the treat. The children willingly and quickly ran inside, as hungry little children will run towards food, not stopping to remove their wet shoes and dripping coats. And surprsingly, Lyn did not try to stop them. She even found herself laughing at the sight, and for the first time in her life thought to herself, “It’s okay. I’ll clean it up later.”