Mommy's helper

When I was in high school, I decided to paint my bedroom. I always wanted a submarine and an elevator... And the great thing about this is they let me do it. And they didn’t get upset about it. And it’s still there. If you go to my parent’s house it’s still there. And anybody who is out there who is a parent, if your kids want to paint their bedroom, as a favor to me let them do it. It’ll be OK. Don’t worry about resale value on the house.
— The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Maslow

When I first started working at Carnegie Mellon, I was introduced to the brilliant mind of Randy Pausch through his book, The Last Lecture. It's one of those books for me that I like to keep close by for when I need a reminder to take a step back and focus on what really matters. The quote above is one that I have always loved, so much so that I taped the quote to the desk in my office at CMU. Now a few years later, the quote can be found taped to the inside of our kitchen cabinet. 

I have been reminded of this quote a lot recently because Caroline is in a stage where she loves to help. Whenever she sees me standing at the kitchen counter (which is a good chunk of the day...preparing meals, going through the mail, writing a to-do list, etc), she stops what she is doing, gets a kitchen chair, pushes it to the counter, and hops on up to help. It really is so endearing to see her so excited about making cookies or putting salad on all of the dinner plates or crafting a little home decor. 

While it is adorable to see her in her apron, having such focus on the task at hand, I'm pretty sure our kitchen counters and the floor below them have never been dirtier. Our kitchen chairs are covered in a combo of dirty footprints, sticky fingerprints, and a touch of finger paint. And let's not forget about the time that she flung maple-syrup laden oats all over the kitchen while making granola. 

Pausch's quote reminds me (on a daily basis), that life is full of new learning experiences and sometimes things are going to get a little messy. In the end, it's going to be OK. And we will have had fun doing it. New experiences tend to take on a domino effect; for example, after the granola went into the oven, we turned our attention to the kitchen floor and learned to sweep! 

Thank you to this little helper of mine for teaching me new things every day...