I was picking up after babysitting and found myself smiling. I always feel when I catch myself smiling while cleaning that something profound and amazing is happening. Something beautiful that can’t be immediately understood.
Sometimes, it’s the hidden candy wrappers that rather than making me mad, make me laugh and feel appreciated- I bought someone’s favorite candy and they took the whole bag on the couch and ate it! Sure, finding the trash can would be an added bonus. But wow! How fulfilling that something I did gave someone comfort.
Today it was taking my heels, pretty shirts, dress, jewelry and scarves and taking them from their spots, strewn around my apartment, and putting them back where they belong. I caught myself smiling at my gold sparkly heels.
One other day when I had babysat, this sweet little girl had helped me pick out these particular strappy sandals. I was going to a holiday party with my mom, and she watched and ‘helped’ as I curled my hair, applied just a touch more than my regular foundation and eyeliner, and dressed in a tasteful yet flattering black dress and these heels. She watched as I walked around the apartment ‘breaking them in’. She helped me pick jewelry to wear. Convinced me to add a clip to my hair (she was right, it added volume. Smartest 7 year old I know).
She wasn’t just playing, or getting into stuff that wasn’t hers, or making a mess.
She wanted to be like me.
I don’t always think very highly of myself. Yet she doesn’t see me the way I do. She sees beauty and is flattered when she is mistaken for my daughter. She sees confidence and humility, and learns her opinion is valid. (The technique of asking advice on clothes/shoes/jewelry is one I learned from her mother. It makes the girls feel important and valued and it’s one of the things I love about their mom.)
I was feeling pretty crappy until I picked up those heels, left in the middle of the bathroom floor with a pile of pajamas that just missed the laundry basket.
And as my children often do, she reminded me I have worth and value to some people. Most of those people are very short and whine a lot, but I still matter to them quite a bit. I needed that reminder.