My 2 year old insisted on helping me fold laundry today. There were things that she could have been doing that would have been more unhelpful at the time, but not many. Among the things I wish I could have made her understand this afternoon, and what God might be telling me, if I would listen--or even had the capability of understanding.
- Just because you don't recognize the difference between folded and unfolded doesn't mean there isn't one. Just because you don't see the reason, or how I'm arranging, ordering, and taking care of your life doesn't mean those things aren't there.
- Merely shaking the shirt doesn't actually get the wrinkles out. Just because you're trying to do what you think you see me doing doesn't mean that you're actually recognizing what it is that I'm on about or accomplishing anything.
- Wadding it up in a ball doesn't mean folded.
- I'd really rather you didn't try to put it away yourself. There are some things that I really don't want you to try to do yourself. I need to do them. Really.
- Don't put your sister's socks in your dresser. This isn't all about you. I'm taking care of other people too.
- Especially not in your shirt drawer
- And please let Mommy wash your dirty clothes before you try putting them back away at all. Things get dirty and broken. It doesn't help you or anyone to try to hide them, or deal with them yourself. I'd really like to fix it for you.
But here's the thing. I loved having my toddler help me with the laundry. It slowed me down, sure. But she loved being with me and I loved having her there. I loved the joy on her face from her conviction that she actually was helping. She delighted in understanding--even though she didn't . . . but she does understand more than she did last month. I love watching her grow and develop. I love watching how she learns. What are the pieces that she's picking up, and how is she putting them together? Is there anything much better than an (almost) two-year old's triumphant "Mommy! Did it!"
Lord, grant me the privilige of being in the middle of whatever you're doing whether I'm being helpful or not. I want to be whereever you are.