I clean empty apartments or homes either between renters or on the market. It's something I can do to earn money without having a regular job with regular hours. I can say, "no" if it doesn't jive with my schedule. Most of the time, I work early in the morning before the family wakes up. This morning I had an apartment to clean.
My second child is the one who seems to be overlooked more often than the others. She is obedient and helpful. She is never cruel and is usually the one to take the initiative to do something good. Last night she told me she really wanted to come help me clean. "I'll be getting up at 4:30," I told her. Her eyes opened extra wide, aghast. She bit her lip and looked up at the ceiling. "Okay. I still want to come, but you have to wake me up."
As I peeled myself out of my bed, before the birds, the newspaper boy and the sun, I thought, There is no way she is coming. I went to the bathroom and she heard the toilet flush. She popped her head up--as if she was purposefully sleeping lightly so she wouldn't sleep too long. "Do you want to go?" I whispered. Without a word, she jumped out of bed and put on her shoes. She was already dressed. My heart ached as I realized how much my daughter wanted to spend time with me--because I doubt it was all about the cleaning.
We worked hard for three hours. She worked right along with me. We visited and laughed. We played word games and talked about puberty. When we were done, I made a quick stop at the store. We held hands.
She is eight. I don't know how those eight years went so quickly and I know that the next ten will also go by "as it were a dream."
She may not remember today, but she will remember that we were friends. She may not remember holding hands, but she will know that we wanted to be together. She may not remember learning, but she will know how to clean a toilet. Someday she will be gone and I will long for my little girl. She may not remember today, but