It was such a busy day at my office today!
From the first second through the door to the last minute before I locked up and left, I was running full tilt to keep ahead of the pack. I'm definitely not complaining here, because being busy in my office is a great thing. Still, it felt like there was no way in God's green earth I could keep my head above water today.
Thank goodness for the presence of my amazing daughter! She is a very integral part of my life and of my business as well, and without her, there'd be no organization, no order and certainly no way I'd know where everything is. From the day she was born, my child has been an organizer, a liner-upper, an orderly-loving soul who truly turns everything she touches into something infinitely better.
As a small baby, my daughter organized her feeding schedule immediately after coming home from the hospital. When most babies were being nudged awake every 4 hours to be fed, whether they were hungry or not, my precious child was making her own hours and we were the richer for it! Once she taught me to recognize the fact that she was starving from the lack of mother's milk while breastfeeding, I went straight out and bought a box of Gerber's Rice Pablum and 2 quarts of homogenized whole milk from the grocery store, then made a thin gruel with the pablum and a little milk. I fed her only a small amount, for fear that I was doing something terribly wrong to this small, delicate bundle of wisdom. All I knew for certain was that she was h-u-n-g-r-y...waking every 1 - 2 hours, and nearly swallowing her little pink fist in an attempt to stave off her hunger pangs.
After the first feeding of rice pablum and store-bought milk, followed up with a very meagre breast-feeding, I watched her fall asleep while I barely breathed, for fear that the strange food would upset her little tummy. Thirty minutes went by, then an hour, and she slept peacefully, deeply.
I was amazed!
Something as simple as this could calm her and settle her down so quickly?
If she hadn't made such a fuss, I'd not have known. She very surely organized her feeding schedule, and once we understood that key point and acted upon it, we had a much quieter and happier home!
A toddler of 4, with a baby brother 1 year old, my daughter would announce to me that it was "our story time, Mummy!" Without being asked, she'd carry downstairs a stack of story books almost as tall as her...she'd place them carefully on the coffee table in the front room, tidy the stack of books, organize the reading participants..."Mummy, you sit THERE! Mikey, you sit over THERE!"
Her little brother and I would busy ourselves getting settled comfortably on the blue brocade sectional sofa, and only when we were still would she then sidle up to the sofa, scooch herself in beside me, and hand me the first book to be read. NOT the first book that I chose or that her brother chose...no, she always determined the reading order, "Read THIS one first, please!"
Pages must be turned in a certain order and a certain way, words must not be skipped over. Voices were mandatory for each character and every single picture was to be absorbed, time after time. Her love of detail and her ability to organize her Universe was a wonderful thing to watch...on occasion, when I was feeling very brave indeed, I'd turn TWO pages at once, only to have her screech the story to a halt, turn her deep baby blues towards me with a scalding and scathing look, as she reminded me, "MUMMY! NO skipping pages, remember? That's the rule!"
"Right, right...I DO remember now. I'm sorry, I forgot!"
She sat beside me near the edge of the sofa seat, hands folded primly in her lap, sitting straight upright, watching each and every page, soaking up every single syllable of each and every story. Her brother, on the other hand, would snug in underneath my left arm, stick his dependable comfort-thumb in his little mouth and promptly fall sound asleep. Once in a while she'd cast a disparaging look at him, as if to say, "WHAT are you DOING? SLEEPING? While Mummy's READING? How CAN you?"
When birthday parties came around, my beautiful little girl would organize everything from the guest list to the kind of cake and how it was decorated. One year, I stopped at the Dutch Mill Bakery on Rosser Avenue in Brandon, Manitoba, where we lived, and I told her that she could choose which colour of the icing roses in the showcase she'd like on her birthday cake. It was like throwing her mind into a mixmaster and turning the machine on high...there were several colours of icing roses, in several neatly kept rows on the display tray...which to choose? Which to choose?
Back and forth she paced, her tiny fingers clasped in front of her, wringing each other as she pondered her decision. I could almost hear the gears turning in her mind..."If I choose the pink roses, then that means I can't have the blue or purple ones, and it also means I will not get the green roses, or the yellow ones or..."
Solving the dilemma for her, the owner of the bakery asked her if she would like some roses in each colour. Her face brightened like sunshine coming through clouds after a prairie thunderstorm! "Some of each? Some of EACH?" she exclaimed, her face lighting up with her characteristic wide smile. The owner carefully tonged 2 rows of roses in every colour into a white wax paper lined bakery box, tied it up with royal blue ribbon and handed it to my child. She walked towards the door, with a huge smile on her precious face and said, as we walked out into the street, "She gave me all of the colours, Mummy! ALL of the colours!" The owner of the bakery became a hero for my daughter that day. (We used the pink roses to decorate her birthday cake, while she and her brother ate the green, yellow, blue and purple roses, as I iced the cake!)
Scenes like these repeat themselves over and over throughout the pages of my mind's memory book as she grew up...orderliness, tidyness, everything in its proper place. These were, and are, the magical passwords to my child's lifestyle. Her love of the printed word and the stories that could be spun with those same words like Rumplestiltskin's gold are the love of her life. Well, maybe a wee bit more after her husband and her children. Also, maybe a little bit after her baby brother. As well, and hopefully, a little tiny bit MORE after her father and her mother...me. From the way her pencils are kept in her desk drawer to the enormous stash of scrapbooking supplies organized in her work area, my child makes it her life's work to create order out of chaos, neatness out of messiness and best of all, she love-infuses everything she touches.
As the queen of our office, my child makes life so much simpler for me and for everyone who comes through our front door. A simple thing like a rental list, showing all of the accommodations in town, has become a much-sought-after tool for new employees looking for an apartment or 4-plex to call home. With a deft spin at the computer, she superimposed a map of the town on the reverse side of the rental list. She then added in the names of each rental and a very nicely-designed arrow pointing to the exact spot where the rental sits.
On her days off, I fill in for her, albeit somewhat poorly. Sitting at her desk while using her computer, there are signs everywhere of her penchant for order and tidiness. The roll of masking tape doesn't have a crookedly-ripped edge where the last piece of tape was torn from...rather it has a very neatly-cut edge that is folded over upon itself, making a perfectly doubled-over lip to make it easier to find the beginning of the tape.
A sharply-cut and uniformly-sized stack of scratch paper sits inside of her cubby, waiting for the incessant stream of phone calls to be recorded and handed to me as I arrive each morning. There is also a stack of that paper sitting on my desk for my use, as well. Just to put a finer point on this story, she recycles all of the scratch paper from the odds and sods of leftover feature sheets, fax cover sheets and other throwaways that accumulate daily in the recycle bin.
She is a multitude of complexities, this daughter of mine...nothing is poorly or carelessly done in her world. Each thing she puts her hand to is done with a great deal of love, a large helping of generosity and held together with a good lashing of thoughtfulness.
Attention to detail should be her middle name. Rather, it is simply what comes naturally to her and it makes her world a grandly-designed place for those of us blessed enough to be welcomed inside.