A couple mornings ago, when my husband was out of town, Kara and I started doing our normal morning routines. When we had to go in my room, she said, like always, “Shh! We have to be very quiet.”
I reminded her that, actually, Daddy was out of town, not sleeping, so we didn’t have to be quiet.
She got very thoughtful. “But that means you have to do all the work!”
I nodded. “For a few days, I do.”
She immediately perked up. “I can help!” she declared proudly. “I can help clean mirrors and windows, and help put dishes away!”
I smiled so big and assured her that of course she could help. And my heart swelled because of so many things in this simple interaction. It means that, whatever else we may be doing wrong, we’re doing some things right. It means, first, that Steve helps out around the house, and she’s noticed it. Her takeaway has been that no single person should have to do everything. And bless her heart, it means that she, at 4 years old, naturally has the kind of empathy I’ve had to spend decades cultivating.
As she grows older and gets bigger and can do more “big-girl” things, she doesn’t think about all the ways she can do things for herself, but rather all the things she can do for others. And that is the most spectacular thing for a parent to see.