It's probably small comfort, waiting twenty years or so for me to thank you for giving me chores around the house when I was young. But where, oh where would I be without them?!
I learned how to scrub toilets, wash dishes, sort and wash and dry and put away mountains of laundry, clean and vacuum and organize pretty much any room, iron shirts, clean out fridges and closets and drawers...all before I was ten.
Why? Because you said so.
Now, as a woman and a wife and a mother, I can see so clearly how valuable that is. It wasn't enough for you to teach me how to do it, and then go back to doing it yourself, although that would have been faster and more convenient. No, you showed me how to do it, and then expected me to get it done. And to do it to your satisfaction. And to never take "I don't wanna!" for an answer.
You couldn't have better prepared me for life if you had been Rumpelstiltskin and taught me how to spin straw into gold. The ability to walk in to any room (or home), see what needs to be done, roll up my sleeves and get to it is like solid gold in my realm. I learned it from you.
I have my own children now, and I know from hard-won experience that teaching children how to keep house is not for the faint of heart. I also know how vital it is that they get the experience, that they learn the skills, develop the habits, and feel the satisfaction of a job well done.
Thanks is not enough. But thank you.
I'm really sorry for being whiny, for dragging my feet, for sassing back, for shoving everything under my bed and telling you my room was clean, and for bickering with my sisters while we folded laundry or washed the dishes. Thank you for not selling us. Thank you for not throwing your hands up in the air with righteous frustration, shooing us all out of the way, and doing it yourself.