Excuse me while I just have a mommy moment here -
While we were in Colorado, I found myself asking my Mom, "What can I do for you?" To help, to tidy, to make the load of extra people in the home lighter. I never realized what would come from me asking that question.
Emily heard me.
And, she has been asking me every day - sometimes multiple times. She wants so much to be helpful and to see my smile in reaction to her asking that. And, she has nearly always done what I mentioned she could do to help me with a good attitude and then comes back and asks me again! Sometimes I just answer, "Oh, just play and have fun!" or "What can I do for you, Emily?" (I wrote this post several weeks ago, and while she hasn't been asking me this question anymore - the lesson still remains!)
It reminds me of being a child myself and loving to see my mom smile, hear her laugh and notice that she was happy. I remember a Family Circus cartoon that my Mom shared with me - I don't remember all the details - but it was Dolly talking to her mom and conveying the idea that she liked it when her mom was happy at her or smiling!
I remember wanting my mom to be happy - and, now I see this desire in Emily. When I am grouchy or frustrated about something, she will give me a big smile and say, "I'm being good!" or something to get a smile out of me.
As a mother, am I making it my goal to be happy around my children? To smile at them? To laugh with them? When I do, I notice their reactions and their attitude - it is happy too!
So, part of me wonders if she asks me what she can do because of my reaction to her question - I am happy she asked and it is a blessing to me to hear her thoughtful question. It also gives me a goal of being happy with my children whether or not they are wanting to help - but just to be a bright spot in their day and in their lives!