Last night, the bedtime story my daughter chose was about Snow White wanting to visit with the dwarfs because she hadn’t seen them for a while. She decided to send word ahead that she would be stopping by at noon. They immediately began preparations—cleaning and cooking—for her arrival. Only things didn’t go as planned and the food wasn’t quite right and the house wasn’t yet clean. When she arrived, they were apologetic about the messy state of their house.
“Please forgive the mess, Princess,” Bashful whispered to her. “We didn’t quite get it cleaned up.”
“Oh, please,” Snow White said with a laugh, “forgive me for giving you such short notice! Besides, I’ve come to see you—not your cottage.”
Over the summer, we went over to my friend’s house to go swimming. She said “My house is a mess, but you are more than welcome to come over. I realized if I wait for it to be clean, I’ll never have anybody over. So, I just warn people before they come and if they don’t want to come to my messy house they don’t have to.” I promised that we didn’t care if her house was clean or not, even as I couldn’t stop thinking about what she said. We went over and swam for a while, catching up on all that had gone on in our lives since last we chatted. It was a lovely, warm summer evening and all five of us had a great time.
We moved into our new house about a year ago. A friend of ours lived close by, and we regularly commented how we should have him over for dinner or drinks soon. For an entire year, we kept waiting until “our house was together” before inviting him over. Late one Sunday night, we got the call. We lost the opportunity to visit with him and have him as a guest in our home—he had died suddenly at a very young age.
Those two events over the summer have brought me to the conclusion that I can’t wait until my house is spotless to spend time with family and friends in it. Life is precious…and sometimes chaotic. If, like me, you wait for things to settle down or for your house to be perfect, you will waste the precious time you could be enjoying with the special people in your life. I encourage you to take a lesson from Snow White and adopt this motto with me: Friends and family are always welcome…just leave your white gloves at home.
Excerpt from: Princess Collection from Disney Press