“Ten push-ups,” my dad said, pointing to the living room floor.
“No!!” She wailed, picking up the disputed craft paper and throwing it. “I hate you!”
She glared at him, snatching the paper box and shoving it back against the counter. She finally complied, however, dropping to the carpet and working her body up and down furiously.
From my vantage point at the table I looked at my hands, listening to my little sister as she counted her push-ups. I’d hated the punishment when I was her age… but thinking back I really had been a little punk whenever I’d gotten them. And now I could out push-up any of my friends. I smirked a bit at that.
“Done.” she stood back up and faced my dad, little mouth scrunched up in defiance.
“Now, go and apologize to your mother. We don’t talk to each other like that.”
She looked ready to say no, but then turned and stomped away. My dad sighed, shoulders dropping a bit. I stood up and walked over to join him, smiling.
“Do you want some help cleaning up?” I asked him. I motioned to the chaos of paper and glue my sister had left behind. My dad looked at me, clearly still debating. He sighed again, looking in the direction Jane had left.
“No… Mom asked her to clean up her mess, she shouldn’t get a pass after all that.” He looked around again at the extent of the damage. “Well, yes. Just ask if you can help her, maybe.”
I nodded, smiling at him. He worked so hard to teach us respect. It was important. He worked so hard to teach us a lot of things. To give us the life we had. I hadn’t seen how much he did for us–how late he stayed up, still at his job–when I was nine. Now I did, though. Someday, Jane would too.
People do a lot of things we don’t see. When we’re little, most of it goes over our heads. But even now I wonder what work goes on to make my life the way it is… who I’ll have to thank, later, for the unseen blessings in my life.
Thanks for reading,