“Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” Plato
I stumbled through days propelled by demands on my time, and on my focus. My two year-old stepped into the doorway where I could see her. Stop.
Proud as punch, she displayed her choice for today’s outfit – undershirt proudly displayed over her colourful, long-sleeved shirt, underwear over her brown pants, one sock, shoes on the wrong feet and a beaming smile radiating pride. I couldn’t tell her so I beamed back at her with words of praise, quietly grateful that this day we didn’t have places to go and people to see.
The chores’ list had no end, the wherewithal to cope ebbed and flowed, leaving me breathless. My four year-old approached from behind, quietly and perhaps with some measure of trepidation and in her quiet voice she offered her help. Stop.
With a dusting rag wadded in her tiny helping hand she proceeded to move methodically around the room, lifting, brushing, tenderly placing back and moving on, the cloth leaving trails in the dust she missed. I couldn’t follow behind her so I smiled warmly and with pride as she bent to the task.
Frustration and anger-under-pressure percolated, ill-thought words rising to the surface. My three year-old, willing to do her share to be in tune with her older sisters, climbed onto the stool. Stop.
Her still chubby hands disappeared into the dishwater and returned with a plate. She dutifully rubbed it and dipped it and placed it in the rack, smudges of encrusted food still clinging to its surface. I couldn’t re-do and instead let her eagerness soften the frustration that had dwelled within me.
As I trudged through those child-rearing years, at times like a marionette jangled and jerked through the motions of motherhood, I tried hard to rein myself in, to stop, to breathe, to glory in the accomplishments that to an adult were so inconsequential as to be almost unnoticeable but to them, were Olympian.
For those few who might read this and question the veracity of the details, I quote Mark Twain: “I don’t believe these details are right but I don’t give a rap. They will do as well as the facts.”
For more about Quotes from the Masters check out Robin’s blog at Bringing Europe Home. Thanks, Robin, for getting me to think, and to remember those harried days that I now miss.