I was having a conversation with a friend once about helping our fathers and mothers. We had both read a certain book and it mentioned helping fathers extra. Of course we both do what our parents ask us to do, like school or checking on the food in the oven, but we were talking about extra things to help. I asked my friend what she did to help her Dad, and she said she didn't really do anything extra. I was kind of taken back by that. Since the conversation, I have summed up a list of ways I help both my parents. How do you help your parents beyond the basics? I'd love to have new ways to help them!
1. Mowing, raking, picking up sticks... all things I do to help my Dad keep the yard looking nice. Now that he's done with his Ph.D, he has a little more time to trim and do yard projects.
2. Being on time. It's always nice to be waiting for him instead of making him wait for me. Being a girl, I take more time to get ready to go places, so I have to plan extra time, but that's okay. It means that if I wait for him I can be sure our bags are in the van, the cooler has the right food in it, I have all my music.... etc. Again, a little thing.
3. Folding his shirts right. Weird, right??? Sometimes we don't fold his shirts right and then they don't fit in the drawer nicely, and then it annoys him. Well, it's a little thing, to be sure, but anything I can do when it's my job to fold the laundry!
4. Keep the piano tidy. So often I just set music on the bench or rack, forgetting that the piano is not in hiding, and everyone can see the mess. Keeping it tidy should be a no-brainer, and I try to remind myself to take care of it when I notice it getting bad again.
5. Good Mischief. See number 4 of things I do for Mom. Often for Dad all we come up with are things like buying him a special candy bar he really likes and slipping it in his drawer.
1. Laundry. Always a good place to start! :) I like to surprise her by doing it even though I wasn't asked to. Plus, then she can do something like getting off her feet after being in the kitchen all day, and not have to worry about yet another thing.
2. Kill snakes. Yes. I have the Snake-killer Badge around here. I killed 27 snakes in one day last fall. My mother hates snakes. So, because I love her, I kill them for her. I just killed one this afternoon. It was a gory death by the lawn-mower blades. Not the way I usually kill them, by the way.
3. Try not to listen to too much music. . . the struggle is real, folks. :) I like to listen to a lot of fast movements and higher-pitched instruments, the violin, flute.... the list goes on. Sometimes the high notes bother her after a while, or she just needs some quiet. I try to sense this and either turn the music off or down or switch to Bach cello suites or something soothing and relaxing.
4. Good Mischief. (Is there such a thing?) My sister and I "invented" Good Mischief when we were little, probably 9 and 6 or thereabouts. Good Mischief is when we think of special things to do for Mom.... number 1 for Mom up there would fall into this category. Sneaky things, yet very helpful and fun to do! Also very funny to see when she notices we did them! :) Overall Good Mischief gives us a good secret to giggle about for a few minutes or until she notices, and it gives Mom some relief with all the house-hold things. Now that Sophia is in college, I have to do it by myself which honestly isn't as fun as doing it together.
Now I'd love to hear what you do!!! It can be so hard to get up off the couch and go help, but it's really worth it!