The Giver of Joy

Today, I called Younger with a chore for him to complete on his first full day free of school.


Although he’s helped with the chore occasionally, he’s not at all adept, especially since we recently bought a new washing machine. So, he placed me on speaker phone while I talked him through all the necessary maneuverings.

First, I had him move the sheets in the washing machine to the dryer, reminding him to untwist the inevitable knots. He faithfully followed my instructions.

Then I had him clean the lint from the vent.

“Wow,” he murmured, his voice a little patchy over the cell phone connection. “I pulled it off all in one piece. Now, that’s something. I’m proud of myself.”

You know, after a couple decades and several tons of laundry, I have lost the pure, unadulterated delight of cleaning a dryer vent. My heart was touched by his innocent pleasure in such a routine act.

So touched in fact that I think I will bless him with the opportunity for such joy every chance I get this summer.


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