Sacrificing A Clean Kitchen Floor

It was a lovely morning. Winter sunshine spilled through windows, warming corners cold from many dark days. We all had an odd sort of energy that made us crave a break away from routine, just as the clouds seemed to be doing. Adam suggested we make scones and have ourselves something of a “Second Breakfast Tea Party.” It was just the thing, we all of us readily agreed. My mind began to furnish itself with the ideal set up for preparations. The girls would have some play time, baby boy would have his morning nap, and I would listen to an audio book while whipping up some scones (with all of the fixings of course) and preparing a pot of tea. Once this plan was firmly set in place in my mind a little voice asked a question.

“Can I help mommy make the scones, daddy?”

Now, Adam is incredible about checking with me first. Recently, though, I have found many occasions to express to him my desire to spend more one-on-one time with the children. That was at the forefront of his mind as he answered, “I think mommy would love that!”

With the look of utter joy on her face, and such contentment and pride on his, I blew away my fragile little ideal and pushed a chair up to the counter for my little miss. Having been given some delicious scone mixes recently, I wasn’t planning on making these from scratch, so it really was a good time to include a three-year-old. After all, how hard is it to “dump this package in the bowl, sweetie.”? Well, the dumping part of it isn’t hard, but the “in the bowl” part seems to be.

Exasperated is not a word I like to associate with myself. It’s such a boiling, unpleasant word. But I must admit to having been exasperated. With so much mix on the ground it would be a miracle if these turned out right. And had I mentioned the fact that the floor had just been cleaned, not to mention the counter? I muttered something about needing to ask daddy a question and ran off to have a quick vent to Adam. As a way of blessing me and the rest of our little family he was doing a bit of tidying. I think I caught him off guard with my frustration, but he patiently listened and then encouraged me. The scones would be fine, the floor would be swept, and right now Adeline was feeling so special because of this opportunity to help mommy. Wasn’t that last part the important thing?

Of course it was.

The scones were perfect and Adeline was so proud to have been part of the process. We all congratulated her on her work as we sipped at tea and nibbled devoured scones. She was glowing, I was humbled, the kitchen floor was dusted white.

Not long after this event I was reading a wonderful book by Rachel Jankovic called Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches. (I very strongly recommend this book to momma’s with young children.) I was reading a chapter in which Jankovic colorfully describes a moment in her kitchen while making tortillas with a whole brood of “helpers.” It was a delightful, hilarious, and relatable scene. A passage in this chapter made me think back to my scone episode and smile. If you don’t take anything else away from this blog post, at least take away these wise words by Rachel Jankovic.

“So while your children are little, cultivate an attitude of sacrifice. Sacrifice your peace for their fun, your clean kitchen floor for their help cracking eggs, your quiet moment for their long telling of a dream that a friend of theirs allegedly had. Prioritize your children far and away above the other work you need to get done. They are the only part of your work that really matters.”

 

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