Illustration by Mark Robison
Bobby bounded down the stairs to his toy chest full of building blocks. It was Friday. That meant there was only one day left of freedom before Saturday.
Bobby didn’t like Saturday mornings. Every Saturday his family had to do their chores. There was mopping and dusting, vacuuming and scrubbing. They even had to clean their bedrooms!
Bobby sat down beside his block chest and started building The Tallest Block Tower in the Universe. He knew it was important to get the house ready for Sunday, but what was the point of a weekend if you spent so much time working?
As Bobby continued building, he heard someone talking in the kitchen.
“But, Mom,” his older sister Charlotte said, “my birthday is on Saturday. Working tomorrow morning will ruin the whole day! Can I do my chores today instead?”
“That sounds like a great idea,” Mom said.
Charlotte left the kitchen and walked upstairs. Bobby stopped building to watch her go. Tomorrow was Charlotte’s birthday. Good thing she could get her chores over with now.
He turned back to his tower, then stopped. He set his blocks down. Maybe she doesn’t have to do her chores at all, he thought.
Bobby raced up the stairs to see Charlotte wheeling the vacuum cleaner down the hall. Before she could plug it in, he ran over to her.
“Stop! Don’t do your chores!” Bobby cried out.
Charlotte shook her head. “I can’t stop,” she said. “If I don’t do them today, then I’ll have to do them on my birthday, and that’s no fun.”
She started to plug in the vacuum cleaner, but Bobby stepped in front of her. “But I want to do them for you!” he said. “I’ll do both of our chores. You don’t have to do any of them.”
Charlotte looked up, surprised. “You would do that for me?”
Bobby winced a little inside. He knew it was going to be a lot of work. There would be two bathrooms to scrub and two rooms to clean. He looked over at The Tallest Block Tower in the Universe. There might not be time this weekend to finish it after all.
But he looked back at his sister and smiled. “Yes. Happy birthday!”
A huge smile spread across Charlotte’s face. She gave Bobby a big hug. “Thank you!” she said as she ran happily down the hall.
Bobby looked over at the vacuum. Plugging it in, he started working on the first of Charlotte’s Saturday chores. His sister was worth it. The tower would have to wait.
“The needs of others are ever present, and each of us can do something to help someone.”2
President Thomas S. Monson
“What Have I Done for Someone Today?” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 85.