There are bits of cucumber and tomato that never quite make it into the salad. The kitchen floor is lightly dusted with flour. She’s asked about a million times if she can lick the spoon and I’m pretty sure she did when I wasn’t looking. She is four and she is standing on a stool next to me, eager to do the very things I tire of doing day in and day out.
You see, the kitchen is a difficult place for me. I’ve even gone so far as to call it the “bane of my existence.” It is a needy, never-ending mess of pots and pans and last night’s dinner. In fact, I’d rather be anywhere other than my kitchen.
Yet, despite its blatant lack of counter space and 50 year old appliances that won’t break so I can get new ones, it holds a certain charm to my little daughter. She is a M.I.T. (Mommy In Training) and she knows the kitchen is Mommy’s domain.
So how is it the one room in the house that is almost entirely mine happens to be the one room I dislike the most?
I’ve toyed with the idea of sprucing it up with paint and pictures, adding touches of fancy to make it more pleasing to the eye, but deep down I know aesthetics aren’t the issue. It’s attitude. Mine, to be exact.
When I look at the kitchen I see messes to be cleaned. When my daughter looks at the kitchen she sees an amazing place where individual foods become an entire meal right before her eyes.
I see the end, she sees the beginning.
It would do me good to adopt her view of things. Instead of seeing a scummy blender, I should see the blessing of not having to bother with cleaning it before making smoothies in the morning. Instead of seeing a dirty skillet, I should see the potential of a clean skillet for browning meat for tomorrow’s lunch. Instead of seeing a cluttered countertop, I should see a stunning (albeit small) workspace for rolling out a pie for company this weekend. I should see the beginnings rather than the ends.
In fact, I should see a wonderful beginning when my daughter crawls up next to me on that little kitchen stool. What she learns from me is the beginning of her journey to womanhood. Every time she stirs the batter, shreds the lettuce, or salts the meat, she is learning. She is also learning when she sees me sigh at the mess before me or when I slam a cabinet door in frustration or when I am short with her because I just don’t have the time to play a round of 20 Questions. Is that the beginning I want for her?
The only thing I have with my children are beginnings. What is sown today will take years to bring to fruition. In fact, I may never know the full impact of the beginnings I share with my children.
So, what matters here and now is that I take my life’s calling as wife and mother seriously; that I set about diligently to be someone worth emulating; that I remember all my daily tasks are to be done as unto the Lord. I have to stop fussing and fretting over the ends of things and start preparing for the beginnings. And when my little daughter slides that stool across the floor and climbs up next to me, I should see things from her perspective…a beautiful beginning.
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