He told me, while my tear-filled eyes surveyed the toy-strewn floors and piles of still-unpacked Christmas gifts, to embrace the mess, to enter in to the moment. I don't do mess, I wanted to say. I can't cook unless my countertops are clean, can't write unless my desk is clear. But he is right, I know. Life with two small kids is mess. I can either fight against my kids and their clutter all day long or I can fight to enjoy them in the midst of the chaos. I often make the wrong choice. But on this day, I choose mess, extra mess. I choose my toddler's flour and water soup, dry rice and oatmeal running through my baby's fingers.