Love-Of-My-Life and Little Britches were hard at work in the classroom this morning. We purchased a new desk and they were working together (kind of) to take apart the old one. Baby Britches kept getting in the way. So he left the room.
I was in the kitchen making pancakes (everyone's favorite breakfast), and noticed that Baby Britches was missing. We found him up behind the new TV, currently on the coffee table since it doesn't fit in our current entertainment center (we have a new one on order). So we had him get down and then he wandered away again.
Recognizing the lack of his voice in the house, I searched for him and discovered him just sitting all alone on my jacuzzi tub steps in my bathroom. He was rather morose and not his usual perky self. So I knelt down and picked him up. As I carried him into the other room I asked him what was wrong several times. "Nuffin!" he kept insisting. But my mommy heart was pretty sure I knew what he wouldn't say or couldn't describe...he was feeling left out.
So I brought him in the kitchen with me. I usually don't like help while I am cooking because...well, I can get it done faster without it. LOL. But I knew that this little one of mine has an inner NEED to be helpful. So I asked him if he'd like to help me cook the pancakes.
And with that one question, I lit a spark. He instantly perked up and was eager to do anything I asked. Yes I was working with things that were messy. Yes he was going to be working by a hot skillet. But this little boy of mine NEEDED to feel useful.
And so the two of us finished the pancakes and I imparted mommy wisdom about using utensils, stove safety, and how to tell when pancakes are ready to turn.
He did touch the handle of the cast iron skillet with his hand, but he was so into helping me, he insisted it didn't hurt. (later he decided it did a little bit and I put some Lavender Essential Oil on it) Perhaps he was worried he'd have to stop helping me.
Never was a little boy so eager to announce that breakfast was ready than when he placed the big pile of pancakes on the table. How excited he was to announce that he had helped mommy and that we even were going to have strawberries and "whooped cream".
We had a delightful breakfast and Baby Britches left the table full physically and emotionally. I had fed his belly AND his inner need to be wanted and helpful.
This taught me a valuable lesson. Even as little children, we crave the need to be useful. Can you think of times when you really wanted to help but were brushed off with a "we got this, no thanks"? What about you? Have you ever quenched someone's need to help--perhaps not even recognizing it was there?
I am absolutely guilty in this.
Perhaps I am the most guilty when it comes to the boys. I am working on making sure that I include them in things that allows them to spend time with me, even when I know it might get done slower, or done in a way that isn't "quite right". They need to feel useful, and they need the mommy time.
So many people have serving hearts--my littlest has a serving heart the size of Texas. Today taught me how badly I need to recognize it and help it to grow. And how much I need to check the status of my own, for to serve is what I as a Christian am called to do.
"For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another."The next time I am busy doing something--whether decorating at a gathering, putting food out for a potluck, folding clean clothes, or even making pancakes, I will try to remember to look for and feed the serving heart of someone in need.
Galatians 5:13 (NKJV)