Saturday, February 9, 2013

Working Together

There are always chores to do around the house and I sometimes feel guilty when I do them. I know, I know. Most of you probably feel the opposite. But when I clean, do laundry or do the dishes I find myself saying, "I'm almost done, babe. I'll be there to play in a minute," more times than I'd like to admit. These chores, however mundane, must be done and I'm starting to see how fun they can be when there is a little one alongside to help.

My toddler woke up from his nap yesterday and he was not ready to be put down. This guy is a snuggler and I love that about him. Until I need to do something. On this particular day, I needed to water the plants before I let yet another basil plant succumb to the Florida sun. I headed outside with him on my hip and asked him to put the hose through the Earth Box tube. 

 In case you haven't ever seen an Earth Box, these are a gardeners best friend. They are just a plastic box filled with soil. There's a water reservoir underneath that gives the plants water whenever their little roots desire. Since we live in a community that does all the landscaping, they will not allow us to plant anything in the dirt around our house. My Earth Box is contraband in this planned community. Don't tell anyone.

OK - Back to the story. I handed him the hose and he worked it into the tube with the utmost concentration. He clapped for himself when he achieved his goal (we should all do that) and he moved on to watching a digger move back and forth in the empty lots across the lake. I pulled the hose from the Earth Box and, sensing something exciting, he bounded over to watch. I turned the hose down to a trickle and handed it to him so that he could see what it was all about. Then I just watched.

He made puddles on the plastic covering and splashed for awhile.

And he made puddles in the dirt and in his shoes.

As I watched him work against a backdrop of a sparkling lake and a blue sky, I felt more peaceful than I have felt in quite awhile. Suddenly, it wasn't about the list of things to do but about the joy of living life in the moment.  It was wonderful to have the time to explore rather than rush. It was enchanting to watch my son, who seemed to be only a baby a few short months ago, start to truly be a part of the world around him.

How do you include your children in the work that fills your day? Does it change your perspective when you see that work through their eyes?

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