Growing up, when my mother would ask me to help her with dinner I would be assigned to peeling the potatoes or grating cheese. Most often, however, I would be told, "You can make the salad." This continued even once I was grown. I would go home for holidays and offer to help with the fantastic meals that my parents would plan. The response? "You can make the salad." I had a husband, a home, and children, but the salad was my contribution in my mother's kitchen.
And then, one year, when my mother came to visit she asked if she could help with dinner. Without even thinking about it, I said, "You can make the salad." We both got a good laugh out of that. Apples and trees, of course.
Here's the thing, though: I have come to see "making the salad" as a way of letting someone help, but not so much that if they mess it up you have a problem. My mother and my children helped me get some of my dolls ready for a recent event. They sewed basting seams, gathered tulle into tutus, attached Velcro -- all things that needed to be done, but basically salad-making.
What was that? Control issues, me?
My mother's salad was delicious. The dolls were just fine. Maybe it's time to let people do more around here. I could definitely use the help.