Little Brother likes to help me unload the dishwasher. While most of its contents have to be put away in cabinets beyond his reach, he’s more than capable of taking care of the silverware, especially since the little basket that holds them in the dishwasher is removable. He actually gets mad at me if I do “his” job.
Letting him help in this way, though, is a lesson in letting go. He (usually) gets the knives, forks, and spoons into the right compartments. But pointing in the right direction? Not so much.
This is one of those times when I need to remind myself that it really doesn’t matter if the spoons are all facing the same way. He’s 7, and he willingly helped me to a household job. I don’t have to go back into that drawer and turn all the forks around so the tines point toward the wall.
I really want to, but I don’t have to. And it’s going to take all I have today to leave those forks alone.
By the time dinner rolls around, most of the forks will be back out of the drawer and on the table anyway. There’s always a chance that tomorrow when Little Brother empties the clean-silverware basket, he’ll face the forks the right way. (I can talk to myself like this all day, but I’m still going to struggle to stay away from that drawer.)
I’ve got to learn to save my perfectionism for situations when it’s really needed, like editing. The sorting of silverware is something I’ll need to let go. It might drive me crazy today (if I’m not crazy already) but it’s way better for my kids.