When my sons were small, it seemed like I was constantly cleaning up after them. Wiping away tiny fingerpints or spilled milk, picking up errant toys and beathing a sigh of frustration because of it. That's all changed now. Of course, partly because they're all grown up and on their own (well, all but one).
And partly because, now when I see tiny fingerprints or an errant toy, it's because my granchildren have been visiting. Sometimes, days after they are gone, I will find some reminder that they were here - a toy car under the sofa or little fingerprint smudges on a kitchen chair. Instead of breathing a sigh of frustration, I smile. The sweet memory of their presence lingers and my heart is glad.
Paul and I were babysitting the other day and we had brought the kids a treat of powdered donuts. As we were preparing to head home, I noticed a little powdered donut handprint on my parka which had been hanging on the back of a kitchen chair. My thoughtful daughter-in-law offered to clean it but I declined. I actually wanted to leave it there for a while and enjoy the memory.
I know it must sound silly but that's just me. Some of the things that used to frustrate me no longer do. Being a grandparent changes you. Changes you for the good.