I don’t know about you, but there’s certain things in life that I prefer to handle myself. I’m referring to practical stuff like mowing the lawn, cleaning up the garage, washing cars, doing dishes, hanging Christmas lights, etc. Most times, the process just moves along smoother and faster when we’re in control, wouldn’t you agree?!
Well, for those of us who have kids (or hang around kids), there is always the opportunity to allow them to help with certain things. Actually, sometimes the word “opportunity” is the last word that comes to mind…..words like “annoyance” or “burden” or “inconvenience” feel a little more fitting at times, especially when we’re in a time crunch or something needs to be done in a specific way.
There’s definitely the risk that when we do decide to step aside and let the little boogers help, the task will most likely take longer to complete and once complete, the result may look a little different from what we envisioned. In a way, that’s the beautiful part though…the imperfectness of it all.
I’ll be really honest with you about something…..I have a super hard time letting my boys help with washing the truck. It’s not that I demand perfection or anything, it’s just that…..ok, I guess I do maybe kinda sorta want things to be done MY WAY!
It’s hard for me to assign them a certain area of washing, like the front grill or something without feeling some kind of weird, unhealthy anxiety. Whether it’s them missing a spot or the soap drying too fast, I have this impulse to go back over the spot that they “washed” to make sure it’s done “right.” (Don’t worry, I try to be super sneaky about it so they don’t think they’ve done a bad job 😉.)
Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for their willingness to help, I just want things to be done perfect 😁. Yeah, I know, I need to chill.
You see, most of the time, kids don’t really care about the end result of whatever project we’re working on. They simply care about spending time with us…that’s it! Us adults get distracted pretty easily with the results vs. the process and that’s ok. That’s what our culture teaches us. We all fall into the trap of looking straight ahead, forgetting about the little hands tugging at our pant pockets, looking for an opportunity to learn, hang out and help. I’ve done this numerous times!
So, as I write this, I’m reminded to be more aware of opportunities to make memories vs. finished projects. My hope is that by reading this, you’re reminded as well!
The truth is, at the end of it all, we don’t take our projects with us….but we do have the chance to leave a legacy that lasts. So, let’s try to be happy with crooked bird houses, paint splashes outside the lines, half-swept driveways, streaky windows, patchy mowed grass and kinda clean vehicles!
Little hands have invested elbow grease and sweat just to be around us, friends! The least we can do is allow amazing memories to be made!