Going for the Gusto

There’s nothing like the kind of enthusiasm a four-year-old can display.

Today we went to the mall to return a defective toy that he’d received for Christmas. After using the resulting store credit to purchase a new light sabre and Knight “costoon,” we had a long walk back to the car. But he was so thrilled to have his new armor and weapons, and to know that I had a pocketful of pennies to pitch into the mall fountain, that he ran and jumped and zigzagged all the way.

He’s been busy all afternoon, and after I finished helping him build a wall for his family-room fortress, I noticed that it was getting pretty icky under the couch there, and I took out the vacuum with the long attachment. I dragged out the Legos and little cannonballs and vacuumed up the pieces of pretzels and stray twisty-ties from Christmas packages.

He stayed out of the way for a few minutes and then started jumping up and down all over again. “Can I vacuum? Can I help?”

I told him that it would be a big help if he’d do the front stairs (all 5 of them) from the foyer to the living room. He plugged in the little vacuum and got to work, periodically stopping to inspect the job. He told me not to walk down the stairs or he would vacuum my feet. And he showed me how, if the vacuum wouldn’t pick up some little bit on its first pass, he could pick it up in his hand and “feed” it to the vacuum. It exasperates me when I have to do that–but he thought it was fun.

I’m glad I have Little Brother around to remind me that it’s OK to enjoy the work I do, even though it’s pretty mundane stuff. It’s a gift–and I should appreciate that gift.