A neighbor recently donated a bag of clothes to our daughter. She sent a lot of “cool” stuff from Aeropostale and Old Navy. I plopped down on the floor to sort through the bag and determine what Doodlebug would get to keep. We don’t need 500 of the same style t-shirt, and there is no need to even put it in her room if I know she’ll whine about the fabric. As I removed the first handful of shirts from the bag, I caught a whiff of my friend’s fabric softener sheets. (normally I’d start my rant on fabric softener but I have a different point to make today).
I suddenly flashed back to being a little girl, running behind the row of townhouses on a hot summer day. Each porch whirring with the sound of hot dryer air being pushed through the tiny vent by the back doors. An invisible cloud of “freshness” lingered and made the backyard smell like soap. It was laundry day on our street. All the moms were inside washing and drying; then folding on the couch while watching General Hospital or Days of Our Lives.
I couldn’t wait to be one of them. A wife. A mom. I couldn’t wait to have laundry days and baking days and keep house. It appeared so glamorous. I would wash babies in tubs full of bubbles. I would fix pot roasts and bake pies. I would iron my husbands shirts for work and he would never have ring-around-the-collar.
There would be coupon clipping and sharing coffee dates with my best friends and backyard cookouts with the neighbors on Sunday afternoon.
I just couldn’t wait to grow up.
Last week, I was looking at my cluttered house grumbling about how it all never ends, no one ever helps the way I need them to help, and why can’t I get five minutes alone to think in complete sentences.
As the whiff of fabric softener stirs up my memories the realization that I have everything I ever wanted starts to sadden me.
I have laundry days.
I have pot roasts.
I have coffee dates with neighbors and Skype dates with best friends.
My husband doesn’t need ironed shirts but he does need clean clothes in his gym bag.
I have babies to scrub and girls to dress up and even one little man covering my world in a thin layer of dirt.
I also have a horrible lack of appreciation for what I get to do.
I get to be a wife, and a mother, and a neighbor.
I get to be a sister, and a daughter, and a friend.
I am doing exactly what I wanted to do when I grew up and I am grossly unappreciative of my life most days.
So friends, let’s have a laundry day (without dryer sheets of course). I’d love to have a Google + hangout day where we do laundry together over coffee and laugh at how we can’t carry on a conversation because of all the glorious kid-noise in the background.
Let’s take time to appreciate the beautiful, crazy lives we have before it grows up and moves away….to find their own chaos.