Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Helping Hands

I did not have a picture for this post, so I chose a cute one of Noelle and her nana.

As of late, Noelle has been such a little helper. She wants to help with everything.

If she sees trash on the ground that she knows she is not supposed to put in her mouth, she hands it to me. Of course, she may take it back for a taste, and then hand it back again.

She throws all her dirty diapers in the trash, even the poopy ones, on her insistence.

Yesterday, she was trying to throw all the recycling Dad had left all over the floor in the trash.

She helps me take clothes out of the dryer. I was folding laundry and letting her take out the last of them when she came out with a handful of lint. She had cleaned the trap, and done a very thorough job. It was all gone. And she didn't even try to eat it. What a big girl she is becoming.

She has begun to put toys back in after taking them out. Yesterday, her puzzle was on the floor, and after I had put it back together, she placed it back up on the stool it sits upon.

This all makes me very happy, of course, but not just because I might have a helper, but also because it shows me she is learning to enjoy order, learning to enjoy creating order.

Seeing her enjoy the putting back as much as the taking out, I realize work doesn't have to be a chore. It can be play, as well. And I am finding that is more and more true for myself when I do "chores" with Noelle. It becomes fun.

There is something about cooking, or cleaning, or crafting with someone else that softens the whole process, removes the purposiveness behind it, and makes it into idle work.

I imagine this was how it was when people lived in small, close communities, and large extended families. Work was done over stories told, laughs shared, and friends visited. I have heard people actually sang while they worked.
And so when I see Noelle stacking her blocks back in their box, I see us together in the future, singing and laughing, gardening and washing dishes.
I see her having fond memories of work done and time shared with mama.
I see the word work not being such a bad word after all.

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