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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)

TITLE: From Whence Cometh My...Help?
By Shari Armstrong


As I start to sort dishes, a blonde, curly jumping bean appears at my side.

“Mama! I wanna help.”

Next thing I know, I have a stool stepping on my toes, “Slow down, Sweetie. Let me finish getting things ready.” I grab the stool, before she can add her weight and help it squish my toes, and move it out of the way.

“Are you ready yet?” she holds on to the stool, ready to push it back against the sink the second I give the word.

I sigh, “Almost.” I wonder if she’ll be this anxious to help me in about ten years? Probably not, so I better take advantage of it while I can. I grab the stool and put it back in place, with the steps toward the sink, to keep her from falling off and getting hurt.

“Here you go,” I say, as I drop assorted forks and spoons in the rinse water.

She grabs them one at a time, putting them in the drainer, “Ouch, it’s still hot!” She blows on the water, like she does Daddy’s coffee.

“Sweetie, you can take more than one.”

Ever the literalist, she grabs all she can find in the sink, trying to get them in one sweep. Before she can get them to the drainer, she drops a half dozen along the way. I laugh, “You don’t have to take them all at once, though.”

“Ok, Mama.”

While she finishes that, I reach behind me and get the stack of bowls and plates, reheat my water a bit, and start washing the next round. I put a bowl in the rinse water and remind her, “Be careful, don’t drop them.”

She nods and begins to spin the bowl, lifts it, pours the water out, getting more of it on her than back in the sink.

”Tip it the other way,”

She giggles, “Oh, yeah.” She scoops more water into the bowl, and dumps it back out again.

By this time, I have another three bowls lined up in the sink. She starts to spin the next one, bumping the bowls into each other.

”Slow down, the dishes are tough, but don’t break ‘em.”

“This way?” She asks me, to make sure she’s putting the dishes in the drainer right.

I nod, “Yes, let them lean a little bit. Use the slots to help you.”

”Mama, I love you,” she leans over and gives me a soggy hug.

Giving her a kiss on her forehead, I hug her back. “I love you, too.”

Next up: the bowls and pans. I grab a glass bowl and I as I put it in the rinse water, she recoils as if she’s just seen a water snake. “You do that, I don’t wanna to drop it!”

“Yes, I’ll take care of the glass stuff.” She climbs down off the stool. “I’m gonna go back and out with Daddy and my brother.”

”Ok, I’ll finish up.” I give her another kiss. “Thanks, you’re a big helper!”

”You’re welcome, Mama.” She bounces back out to the living room. Within five seconds, I hear a scream quickly followed by, “Give that back to your brother.”

I smile and finish my dishes and wonder if this is how God feels when we try to help Him?

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This article has been read 1140 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Caitlynn Lowe02/27/06
Nice! It was a really cute story, and I laughed when I read the last line...It sure does seem as though that's how God might feel!
Melanie Kerr 02/28/06
It is amazing how ordinary everyday things can spark off a lesson to be learned.
Brandi Roberts03/01/06
What a sweetheart you have!!! My lil one sometimes cleans up his own toys, but most days he's satisfied to make a mess out of them :)
c clemons03/01/06
Loved the title in the context with the story, very good enjoyed it.
Cheryl Harrison03/04/06
How sweet! I loved it, especially the last line. Great job.
Jan Ackerson 03/04/06
This is absolutely precious, and only a master writer could make washing the dishes a read that hooks the reader from beginning to end. Great tag, too!
Edy T Johnson 03/04/06
This is a keepsake. I hope you win one of the choice awards! What a treasure of a child you captured in your writing! No wonder Jesus said, "Except ye become as little children...." so loving, so trusting, so wanting to be of service. Super writing -- thank you for sharing your little one this way!
T. F. Chezum03/05/06
Very cute and well written. Reminds me of when my teenage son used to be cute and helpful.
Carla Feagans03/06/06
Oh, boy could I relate! I've got three little helpers, this sounds just like my house. :)

I loved "ever the literalist" - we laugh about that all the time with my three.

Good job, put a big smile on my face, and awesome last line!!

Great work, I'm so glad I found this one.
Suzanne R03/06/06
"A curly blonde jumping bean..." - what a great description!

I love the last line too.

What a beautiful account of one of those precious moments!