The Old-Fashioned Way.

I sauntered into the kitchen, intent on whipping up a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  I sneaked.  I was discrete.  But I got caught.  

“Mommy!  I want to help in the kitchen,” Lovey said.  She is my helper.  She is always there.  If I am in the kitchen, she is glued to me.  And most days, I don’t mind.  I welcome the company and the playful banter of my sweet Lovey.  But today, I just wanted… to be.  To think, uninterrupted.  To ponder, uninhibited.  

I tried to dissuade her.  

“I’m going to be very boring in here.  I am going to do dishes and not even turn on the radio.”  (Which was mostly the truth, because I still had a sink chock full of lunch dishes and random containers from my morning fridge-cleaning session.) 

She took the bait and decided just this once to go watch Max & Ruby.   

But then…

Ladybug appeared in the kitchen doorway.  “I want to do dishes.”  

Perhaps I had heard wrongly.  “I’m sorry, WHAT?”

“I want to do dishes.”

I have this weird control-freak thing, especially when it comes to my kitchen, however, I am trying really, really hard to just let go and let my girlies do more things. Even if they are done the wrong way at first.  Freedom to fail, right?

“Ummmm… okay.  Well, how about you rinse these off and arrange them in the dishwasher like so.”  This was also really hard for me, because I am notoriously particular about how things are arranged in the dishwasher.  

“No, Mom.  I want to do it the old-fashioned way.  You know, I just want to scrub them in the sink.”

“Wouldn’t you rather help me bake cookies?” I urged.  (So much for the just being thing.)

“Mom, don’t you just get a great feeling when you do things the old-fashioned way?  Like you baking cookies from scratch?  Or when you make laundry soap?  It’s like you really worked on it and made it special and it feels good, doesn’t it?  I just want to do that to the dishes.”

*crickets chirping*  (And seriously, there is a random cricket chirping in the far corner of the office as I write.)

“Okaaaayyy.  Well, here is the footstool.  And the rag.  And a little soap.  Have at it, Sweet Ladybug.”  

Suddenly, she had made perfect sense to me.  Because I do get that.  I still do all kinds of crazy things like write in a journal, keep a datebook, wear a watch, patch my jeans, and write hand-written thank you notes.  There is something inherently sacred in performing a simple task “the old-fashioned way” that seems to connect me to my childhood, my mother, my late grandmothers.  

And here I sit, enjoying the morning “the old-fashioned way.”  Sunrise and a steamy cup of joe.  


Love & Coffee.

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