December 1, 2011

Hurry Up and I’ll do it.

I can do it faster. Really?

Grace has been going back and forth from the table to the counter to the fridge for about 10 minutes now.

No one has really noticed yet.

The other three kids have disappeared into books or the computer.

I’m checking my phone when I realize that Grace is clearing away the dinner dishes.  She’s carrying each plate stacked with silverware and an about-to-topple-off glass.  In the way she’s holding her arms close and rigid to her sides I can tell that she’s trying to be extra careful and at the same time as fast as she can be.

Her face is determined and I can tell she’s full of excitement and anticipation.  She’s thrilled that she’s clearing the table and she’s  hoping that she’s going to surprise everyone when they realize how much she’s done so fast and that they won’t have much work left for them to do.

A surge of pride runs through me, “Look at what a good parent I am!  I’ve raised a child who likes to work! Yay for me!”

I’m tempted to go relax on the couch when I see that we need to hurry up.  “Grace let me do that, we need to get going,” almost spews out of my mouth.  Thankfully, I clap my hand over my mouth and let my brain catch up with my words.

I love this scene in front of me.  I’m not even bugged that the rest of my kids have left Grace to do all of the work.  In that second something I heard almost two decades ago catches my eye.  I have it sitting above my kitchen sink begging me to see it, read it, remember it.

I see my 22 year old, big bangs drowning in a bulky sweater, self sitting in a cramped, small classroom.  I’m sitting through yet another college course about family life and the science and dynamics of relationships in homes; I’m prepping myself to become a marriage and family therapist.  My family work professor says, “The purpose of the task is to strengthen the relationship.”

She said it was vital.  Super important to remember.

A family that works together is stronger.  That side by side action of working on a project, big or small, dishes or Christmas tree, toliet scrubbing or painting the house,  the everyday stuff, affects a family, fixes or hurts a relationship.

I feel like Harry Potter when his belly button gets that whisked away feeling as the flue powder carries him to another location.  I’m back in my kitchen looking at Grace perched on a chair her curly hair bouncing while she lifts dish after dripping dish onto the counter to await being loaded into the dishwasher.

I walk over next to her, side by side, we work on the dishes.  We talk about school, her friend, the chorus concert coming up, she sings, “Joy to the World” under her breath.

There are still dishes to wash.  I rinse the sink and fill it with fresh water, squirt dishwashing soap into the rising water.  Grace says, “Oh mom!  Can I wash the dishes, please?  I LOVE to wash the dishes!  It’s so fun!”

I know this will take longer than if I just do it.  I know that a lot of the soap and water will end up on the floor and all over the already wiped counters.

I see all this with my “I-can-see-the-future” Superpower.

I switch sink sides with Grace.  I rinse and she washes.  It does take longer.  Water gets everywhere.

My Superpower was right…I could have done it faster…and better.

What my superpower didn’t see was how much more I would love her.  It didn’t see that I would know more about her.

My superpower missed the inbetween moments, the talking, the laughing, hearing “Joy to the World.”  It glossed over the part of the task where I love my daughter more deeply, the part where the world stops and I get off and I know that this moment, the one right here, is the kind I want every day.

Maybe my Superpower really isn’t one.

Here’s to the inbetween…

xoxo,

Davina

Do you have a Superpower that really isn’t one? Do tell…
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Davina Fear is a Familyness Adventurer. She is expert at brushing the tangly, curly, blonde hair of 3 girls and will never turn down a chocolate cupcake.

She blogs at davinafear.com and believes in the non-cheesy smile.

23 Comments to Hurry Up and I’ll do it.

  1. December 1, 2011 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    So lovely, thank you.

  2. Lee Ann's Gravatar Lee Ann
    December 1, 2011 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    Here’s to the “inbetween moments”!

  3. Mother's Gravatar Mother
    December 1, 2011 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    DAVINA,
    THANK YOU SO MUCH. I HAVE TEARS IN MY EYES AS I READ THIS:
    GRACIE’S STRONG DESIRE TO HELP THE FAMILY
    AS I SEE AND THINK OF YOU AND GRACIE HAVING THIS TIME TOGETHER
    AS I REMEMBER DISHES WITH MY MOM AND THE CONVERSATIONS WE HAD TOGETHER.

    LOVE, MOTHER

  4. December 1, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much for sharing these wise words. With 5 kids we work together so much out of necessity, but what a great purpose to put with our efforts!

  5. bob's Gravatar bob
    December 2, 2011 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    Great story. These experiences are often missed because of being caught up in the rush of things.

    It is the space between the notes that make it a song!

  6. December 2, 2011 at 3:09 am | Permalink

    that might be the most beautiful story i’ve read in ages; one that resonates clearly as a bell for me because i too have soapy water all over the kitchen floor. it’s one of those messes…er, blessings i’ll actually miss cleaning up one day.

    thank you!

  7. December 2, 2011 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Beautiful tears fallling. Thank you for your gift of noticing and sharing for the rest of us. :)

  8. Amy F.'s Gravatar Amy F.
    December 2, 2011 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    That was beautiful, Davina. Thanks for the reminder. :)

  9. December 15, 2011 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    So beautifully written and such an amazingly important reminder. Teary-eyed reading this, as I have also experienced this recently as well. Love that you have the phrase up in your kitchen… looks like I need to add that as well :) Miss you dear Davina!

  10. Danita's Gravatar Danita
    October 6, 2012 at 1:03 am | Permalink

    Simply beautiful!

  11. Candace (Danita's friend)'s Gravatar Candace (Danita's friend)
    October 6, 2012 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Loved reading this! The inbetween times…perfect phrase!…they’re what make it all worth it. Keep writing, please. You are inspiring.

  12. J'Layne's Gravatar J'Layne
    January 21, 2013 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    I love your blog! It’s inspiring me, and helping me be a better mother- not to mention inspiring me to follow my dreams! Your blog is always pulled up on my iPad so I can squeeze in some inspiration every chance I get. I love the “inbetween times” as you put it. A few of my favs are making my one year old laugh so hard while I change her diaper, or snuggling with my five year old while we watch her favorite show.
    Here’s to living in the moment! Thank you.

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