Including vs Shooing
Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The week before we moved here to Georgia, we spent a great week with our friends Greg and Cheri and their three kiddos.

My kids love and adore Ms. Cheri.  She has a super fun house and neighborhood, and she teases that the super fun house and neighborhood are the reasons my kids always wanted to be at her home, but I know it's more than that.  Among the many things that endear her to my kids,  Cheri is great about including them. She doesn't shoo them away when it's time to cook or clean or work in the garden or run errands, she instead includes them in the process.

I read a blog post last week, where the author was explaining the positive impact her grandmother had on her life, and the deep love that all her grandchildren felt for her.  Her explanation of how special they were made to feel made me think of Cheri: ...she simply let us dwell with her, and we worked, ate, slept, served, and worshipped alongside her. She didn't remove herself from us just because we were children....

I am getting much, much better about embracing rather than shoo-ing. ( I'm grateful for 5 years of watching someone do it well - thanks Cheri.)  Admittedly, "Get out of the kitchen so I can cook dinner!" rolls off my tongue much easier than "Sure you can help me make dinner!", but I am making strides and trying to be intentional about finding ways to include the kids rather than exclude them.

This little girl in particular is an eager, eager helper. Lauryn loves and adores being given a job to do in the kitchen, and she loves the conversation that happens around the working.   I am learning to love it too.  Plus, how adorable does she look in her apron?!?

Shooing is for pests.
Embracing is for children.

Blogger Margo had this to say:

Love this!! Thanks for the reminder!

August 28, 2012 at 7:11 AM 

Blogger Stephanie had this to say:

Great post! Please remind me of this often as my little ones grow. I love playing with Alex & spending time with him but I tend to want my own space when cooking. I already hate the mess that comes from cooking & I know it will be much worse if he "helps" me. But I need to remind myself that a mess is worth it to see him have fun & learn something new!

Oh & Lauryn looks adorable in her apron! Tell her she can come to our house & cook anytime! :)

August 28, 2012 at 10:34 AM 

Blogger Starr had this to say:

Stephanie - I hear ya! I could not handle letting them cook real meals with me, or even be in the kitchen when they were toddlers and preschoolers. Never ended well!! I came to an agreement with myself that I would try and do "special" kitchen things with them (baking cookies or whatever) but for real life I needed them occupied with something else!

But now that they are older and more capable it's still my instinct to shoo them away. :) Trying to retrain myself!!!

August 28, 2012 at 10:41 AM 

Blogger Julie Polk had this to say:

One day you will miss those little hand prints on that glass door. I know I have to wipe them off but I must admit its a lot harder to clean off my grandkids handprints than it was my own kids. Maybe just knowing that just like those prints wipe off that I am fading away too... Hummm~
Better enjoy these messes and make all the good memories I can with these kiddos.

August 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM 

Blogger Greg or Cheri had this to say:

Gracious, gracious words friend. Thank you. Would that I could so eloquently describe the ways you've taught and inspired me!

August 28, 2012 at 1:08 PM 

Blogger Vanessa had this to say:

This is so, so good. And, something I most definitely for me to work on. Thank you for that spur on my side that I needed. I love this!

September 6, 2012 at 8:38 PM 

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Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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