How many loads of laundry will the average mother do in her lifetime?
The thought amuses me while I fold. I should Google it – I am sure someone has come up with a number – but I won’t. I have too much laundry to put away before I go pick up Jackson from bike camp.
I smile at how normal and boring my life is – a husband who is home every night, a son who is happy and healthy, and a pile of housework that greets me every morning. There are no airplanes to catch and fancy events to dress up for. There is no one stopping us for autographs or stalking us for pictures. We are average. Not rich, not poor. Not famous, not lonely. Normal.
Once upon a time, when I lived in teenage skin and looked at the world with impatience and ambition, such a fate terrified me. I craved action and wanted everyday to be different. The repetitive beat of nine to five, home for dinner and in bed by ten was not for me. I desperately searched for a way to escape. Drawn to the life of constant motion, fame and drama, I dated (unhappily) a musician for three years.
Fortunately I grew up.
And instead I married a man whom I adored. With no promise of wealth or fast paced living, I settled into normal. And it felt good.
Now I’m home everyday. I wipe runny noses and put band-aids on scraped knees. I buy groceries and load the dishwasher.
And as bombs fall on Lebanon and Israel, and suicide bombers blow up children in Iraq, I pick up dirty laundry and carrying it down our stairs. As drought chokes African villages, I fill up my sink. As children go to bed motherless, I scrub the stains from my son’s clothes. As fathers die fighting our wars, I load the washing machine with my husband’s work clothes. As illness rips apart families, I fold our laundry. And as people go homeless, I stuff each item of clothing into our overflowing drawers and dressers.
And I realize how rich I really am and I am thankful. I feel guilty for the decadence of normal and the sweet indulgence of doing laundry.
How many women would long for my life… For the clothes that get dirty. For the water and soap to wash them. For the closets and drawers that keep them. And for the family that wears them.
Yes, there is joy in laundry.
Hosted this week by Of The Princess and The Pea