Friday, February 8, 2013

It took me long enough...

One of the things I learned on deputation was that my boys somehow managed life in a camper and all that entailed because they saw the benefits it provided. One of which was I did their laundry.
I was stunned one day when my boys were chatting by themselves and one said, "Well we don't do our own laundry now." And another said, "Yeah, that is a great thing!"


Now before thoughts run amuck and you think they have been doing their own laundry since early childhood or worse yet that their laundry never got done, hear this!

Once they were old enough to help fold, they did that. Once they were old enough to understand how to load (and not OVeR load!) the washer they began doing that. I would once in a great while grab their baskets and do it. I would OFTEN tell them it wasn't acceptable for their CLEAN uNFoLDeD laundry to stay in the basket! But... they did their own.
While traveling in a camper, the laundry was more than not done at a laundromat, and Dan would drop me off for a couple of hours at a time, or I would go myself. I enjoyed the time away to be by myself and read a book while surrounded by massive washers and the hum of dryers. It was a challenge to decipher whose was whose when all three boys wore pretty much the same size everything! They became similar to houses with many sisters. Many things became communal except the few precious items.

There have been several occasions since then that I have done all the laundry for the whole family. They boys would be quick to say, "Mom, you don't have to do that!" to which I say, "I know. I want to!"

Why do I want to? Because I remember their conversation in the camper those many months ago.

It is such a small thing! I know it hardly even seems worthy of documentation, but to me it has become much bigger.

As my children grow up, have their own cars, their own jobs, their own life, I have less and less of a place in their day to day things. I am and always will be their mom, but they are just so independent now!! When my oldest son came home from college the other day for a whirlwind 44 hour weekend, he brought his laundry, for reasons frugal, I am sure!

But I seriously enjoyed doing his laundry. I loved the memories that flooded my mind and heart with each item that I could remember him wearing.
The t-shirt he wore when all my boys went to the baseball game in KC, MO.

The sweats from when he went to the barn to replace his transmission. Twice! An oil spot still hasn't quite come out.

Jeans with a paint spot from when he air brushed a gift for a friend.

I thoroughly loved doing his laundry! I was blessed to have the gift of my son and to still wiggle my way into his life in this small, behind the scene way. He probably gave it no more thought than "Yes! Don't have to do that!" But I enjoyed that time more than I ever thought I would.
Oh! that I would have learned to appreciate these moments long ago! I am sure it is the fact that he is staying in the States, and we are moving to Africa. I am sure me nearing my 46th birthday and the "M." years are quickly approaching. I recall the stories from friends sobbing for an hour about a blown out light bulb or laundry detergent commercial and realize my time is surely coming.

But in truth, I think it is more than that. Time with them is short. Time with them has always been fleeting, I just believe it with every fiber of my being now!

From now on, I pray I will appreciate it all.

I am more thankful for the times I need to do something for my children, or because I have children! I couldn't even imagine how uneventful my days would be without them. Or how clean my house would be. Or how truly different my life would be.

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1 comment:

jen said...

since I just came from my laundry room where I'm walking on laundry because the floor is not available just now (it's supporting all that laundry), this post is a good reminder to me. A peek into a different perspective and a different place on the timeline of life. Thank you, my friend :)