Friday, January 7, 2011

Day 7


Laundry is part of my life. I remember when Rodney and I were first married, didn't own a washer and dryer and I had to go to the laundry mat once a week. Those were simpler times. It was just he and I and our tiny wardrobes.

Once the kids entered the picture, laundry took on a whole new meaning. By the time Taylor came along, we were living in a trailer that had a washer and dryer. I remember being so happy about that. It was when we moved into this trailer that we got our first phone as well. For the first 6 months we were married...no washer and dryer and no phone. I called my mom from the laundry mat once a week. Anyway, having a baby did mean more laundry, even if they were itty bitty items of clothing, there seemed to be a lot of it. If memory serves, those baby socks were a real pain.

Fast forward about 17 years and I've got two teenagers. The fact that we live on a farm also increases the amount and the putridity of our laundry. I made peace with the dirt a long time ago. I had to. But, I am still in mental unrest about the stupid laundry.

The above picture is my kids bathroom. It is exactly ten steps from here to the laundry room. I know, I counted. Yes, it is around a couple corners but still, ten stinkin steps. Telling them this little factoid has not served to prompt them to begin any kind of routine of navigating those ten steps with clothes in their arms. Nope, they just leave it all in there. You can see, I've provided a basket so that they won't have to make the trip daily, but NO, when the basket is full it just overflows into the floor. Sometimes I wonder if I was completely uninvolved if the clothes would continue to pile up to the ceiling until they could no longer make it to the shower.

Now, I have so tried to approach the job of cleaning my family's clothes with an attitude of love and benevolence. I have tried to be thankful that I'm not forced to wash my clothes down at the river by beating them on a rock. But here is the thing. I have neatly and lovingly folded t-shirts and placed them on beds to be put away only for them to be knocked in the floor and returned to me, unworn and wrinkled, to be washed again. If I had been living in the period of pounding clothes on rocks, I probably would have been forced to take the poor children out and stone them to death. And that's not a good day for anybody.

There is a poem about dirty dishes that I've been told hung in the childhood kitchen of my mother. It went like this...

Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We're eating very well
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us.

I suppose the same idea can be applied to the whole laundry situation. The pile of laundry should serve as a reminder of my blessings. Not only my physical blessings but also the blessing of having two glorious children. If I woke up tomorrow and they were gone, how I would long for those piles of clothes. It is my goal to be content and to even find happiness in the most unappreciated tasks. Because the fact of the matter is, we aren't asked to do for others to receive something in return. We are simply asked to do, and not just what we want, but to go the extra mile.

I did get a glimmer of appreciation earlier today. I got a text from Taylor that simply said, "love you." I texted back and said, "love you too. Why? What's up?" I naturally think she wants somethings. She replied, "I am in my housing/interior design class. We were talking about homes and how we felt when we thought or saw the word "home"...and I just thought of you". It is still entirely possible that she just needs gas money or something and if she does, she sure is gonna get it. It made me think of my mother and how she always makes everything feel like home, no matter where we are. A neatly folded t-shirt is just one of the tiny things that goes into providing this sense of home for my children and I will proudly do it with love in my heart.

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