Last night Daniel worked a little late so he wasn't home to play with Edie while I cleaned up after dinner. We've been eating most of our meals at Edie's little table--I can tell she feels like such a big girl sitting across from me during dinner. However, much of her meal ends up on the floor. That's just part of it and I'm okay with taking five minutes to clean, but last night as I was trying to collect and wipe a million tiny pieces of ground beef out of the grout, Edie dropped to her knees and began to imitate me with the palms of her hands. My first instinct was to say, "No no!" because she was breaking the already tiny pieces into even smaller pieces and spreading them around an even larger area, but instead I found myself handing her my rag and getting up to grab another one for myself. I looked over at my baby girl as we scrubbed the floor on our knees side by side and instead of seeing more work for myself, I saw her need to be like Mama and the excitement she felt when she realized she could do what I was doing.
LET HER HELP.
I've been hearing this little phrase in my head more and more frequently lately. If I'm being real--I'm a get things done and move on kind of woman. I don't like to make things take longer than they need to. But as I watch my child learn and grow every day, I'm seeing myself change, too. She's somehow slowing me down and amazing me with how quickly she picks new things up at the same time. What I think will be a ten minute run into the grocery store for a few things turns into an hour of exploring each aisle, setting down my basket and asking her to carry the small items over and set them inside. Folding a load of laundry is an all morning affair as she crawls in and out of the clean clothes, pulls an already put away shirt out of the drawer and brings it to me to fold again, uses a clean towel as a teether and gets it soaking wet. A mile walk takes two hours because a bird is chirping in one direction and a dog is barking in the other and there are so many leaves to shred and sticks to break.
But letting her help, letting her lead means letting her grow. It means keeping her fire for life burning. And it means throwing out my plan for the day, because seeing her face when the bird she just tried to chase down the sidewalk flaps its wings and flies away is much better than rushing home to scrub the pile of dishes in the sink before naptime.
Slowing down feels good.