"You need to teach me to vacuum mom!"

First words out of my daughter's mouth as I walk in the door, "You need to teach me to vacuum mom!"

"Excuse me," I said, "Where's my daughter?" 

"Seriously, its my turn to vacuum at Audubon camp (where she is a Youth Naturalist). It's a big old broken down vacuum that smokes at one end and its my turn tomorrow." 

Wow, I thought this is the second greatest thing I heard her tell me she was learning this summer... how to vacuum. She went on to tell us (by this time Jean had joined in the banter about the vacuum) how the vacuum smokes at one end and no one knows why and you have to carry it on your back because the wheel is broken and the hose has to be held by two people because there is a split in it. (My first thought was, I need to buy Audubon a new vacuum). Her eagerness to do her job and learn moved into the fact that she knows I know how as she saw me do it one day, but not very often. This led into a mini narrative on how every working woman needs a cleaning woman and yet it was important to know how to vacuum. 

I'm impressed,  Audubon surpassed my expectations -- getting my daughter to learn how to vacuum.

But more impressed, yesterday she came home and said, "I'm so tired of smiling."  


"Yes, they taught us with the little kids we have to smile for 7 hours a day, smile, smile, smile. We have to be positive." We laughed so hard at her exhausted face and her seriousness of how important it was.  Again, we applauded Audubon for the great training she was getting as a Youth naturalist-- something to last for a lifetime. 

And not last, but very important, the skills she is learning at being a leader and organzing, planning, and leading activities is awe inspiring as she figures out how to teach the 5 year olds about migration (Her assignment this week) or the food life chain (last week).  Her creativity and innovative thinking on how to present the ideas and a game in which they got to pretend they are migrating periods who stop in habitats (hulahoops) and try not to get caught by the predator (another counselor dressed like an deer).

Three lifelong skills learned in a couple short weeks:

- how to vacuum
- smiling is critically important when working with people
- leadership, creativity, and innovation 

Overall, I vote for teaching her to smile for 7 hours to show positivity.   

When is the latest time you smiled for 7 hours in a row at work?