Monday, May 6, 2013

Earning My Daisy Patches in Love and Joy

There is a rule in domestic work, do the worst first.  It works, because if you summon the will to do the hardest most obnoxious task on your to-do list early, everything afterwards seems easy.  I have not followed this rule even though I know it works.  Why? For the same reason I don't keep a food diary even though I know it works.  Why?  Because the former no matter how efficiently done, still means I get to do the icky job, and the later, annoys me because it means I can't have the éclair after doing the hardest job of the day. 

However, today, I did the worst job.  What is the worst job you ask?  Scrubbing the toilets? No.  Changing the sheets? No.  Cleaning the basement. Hahahahahahahaha. Well, yes, that would be the worst but I haven't done that one.   No.  The task I have put off for 8 months is applying Daisy Scout patches to my two daughter's vests.  They still lack the original daisy petal center and all the petals they've earned. Ugh. One of my daughters is in her second year. Yes. Bad mom confession.  I was good at the start. I put on all the starter patches.  But I got the numbers wrong. One fell off so I couldn't fix it. I also couldn't get the other numbers off so as to fix what was left. So it sort of put me off putting on patches, semi-permanently.

This weekend, my son who is nine was talking to one of the daisy scouts while I drove them to two separate Saturday play dates.  The nine year old was going to his friend's first communion, the daisy had a solitary play date with her best friend. Somehow, they entered into a theological discussion about the difference between love and joy.  They'd been singing a song that involved both.  The nine year old worked to explain the difference, that you could be joyful, but love was something you chose, joy was something you discovered you were feeling.  It was too much.  I piped in with Mom's two cents.  "Love is service, love is healing, love is kind, love is merciful. Love involves other people. Love is an act of the will."  I explained.  "Joy is an experience, usually of other people, it is related to love."  I got blank looks. 

"Okay. Love is putting on the patches on your daisy scout vests, joy is what you will feel when you wear it."  I'd just received a bunch of new patches to put on the vest so they were in a bag in the front of the car. 

"Mom?" my daisy asked.
"Yes?"
"Will I be joyful on Monday?" Me and my big stupid mouth.
...
I swallowed hard. "Yes."

"I love you Mom! I'm joyful now!" She burst back into song. 

So today, I am cutting out the patch forms and tonight, there will be joy.  I just have to keep repeating to myself, "Love is an act of the will. Perfect love makes it a joy." 

3 comments:

a said...

Hooray for a loving mom! May feel joy too.

Colleen Duggan said...

What is the worst job you ask? Scrubbing the toilets? No. Changing the sheets? No. Cleaning the basement. Hahahahahahahaha.

ha! I just wrote a post complaining about all those tasks...because complaining is so virtuous. :)

Eddie S said...

Lovely. With children sometimes the student is the teacher and we are better for it (if we are open to the offer of grace).

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!