I laid under the covers and held my breath, truly believing I was invisible. I sucked in my stomach and tried to flatten out my arms and legs as well. I didn't move a muscle.
My mom played along, dutifully tucking in the corners of the sheets and smoothing the bedspread. She probably asked "Now, where's Livia?" a few times for good measure as well.
When the moment was right, I pounced. The covers were thrown back and my presence was revealed with a shout. "You didn't even know I was there! I scared you!"
I wouldn't have this memory if my mom hadn't let me. It's what I tell myself when I think I should stick Aspen in front of the TV so I can change the linens each week. It's what I tell myself when I think I should keep her occupied elsewhere when I sweep and mop the kitchen floor.
What happens if I let her help? Sure, it takes longer to complete the task, but she creates a memory. A memory of us doing things together. And that's more important than how many chores I get done in a day. I won't remember always having a spotless kitchen (mostly because that has never actually happened in the history of ever) but I will remember when Aspen put Kev's underwear on all by herself while we folded laundry. I will remember her using a wet wipe to clean the dog. I will remember her using one of her push toys as a vacuum.
And it's those memories that count.