Friday, August 8, 2014

Lessons From The Laundry Room

I sit down to breathe for a minute, pausing in the space between loads of laundry. As I slowly exhale, I think of all the things I really ought to be doing, and, instead, I pick up my phone and start typing (my desktop is old and slow, and it is just easier to let my thumbs tap away on the small screen than to fight with aging technology). Also, the breeze on the screen porch is uncharacteristically lovely for August. I sit down, breathe, and write. 

I really should be upstairs. I have just begun to attempt to get my house in order (both my literal house and the one inside). I have finally reached a new place, something that has eluded me for the last two decades. I am finally emerging from the stage of life where I have babies who require my constant physical and emotional attention. My youngest is 4. And, I have begun by tackling my laundry room, a repository for many of the Things With No Place for the last several years. 

It occurs to me that this is the longest I have ever gone without a pregnancy since I was 26 - yes. A full twenty years. Seven babies. Many in close succession. No wonder I feel as though I have never quite caught my breath. 

So, for the first time in many, many years, I am able to savor real coffee during my mid-morning break, and get back to work, exulting in the rush of the once-forbidden caffeine. There are many, too many, piles that I have to sort through, I realize. When you are walking, zombie-like and besotted with deep love and sleep deprivation during those first months and years, the non-essential thinks get pushed to the corners. 

Only now, have I been able to muster the resources to begin to find my way, again. To sort through the dusty piles and put everything in its place, throw out the unusable, and clean out the corners. I never really understood exactly the toll that those years can take until I came through on the other side. If I can carry only one thing forward, with me, from this place, it is this... That there is always Grace. 

There is Grace in unswept floors and piles of forgotten laundry and never-ending mending. There is Grace in the yogurt stain on the wall. There is Grace in the dark hours of the night and in the heavy-lidded watch of late afternoon. There is always Grace. 

And, that, even now, there is Grace, for me, too. Grace enough to see me through that much-neglected laundry room, and beyond, to whatever the next thing may be. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Sunday Afternoon Tale

If You Ask A Mom To Take A Nap

If you ask a Mom to take a nap, she will tell you that she needs to wait 10 minutes so she can switch and fold a load of laundry. 

While she waits, 10 minutes will turn into 20 because dryers are slow.

When the load is dry, she will start another load and fold the last.

When she is almost done folding, a small child will request her presence in the bathroom.

When the small child finishes his business, he will decide to get dressed.

When he decides to get dressed, he will want to wear a favorite outfit. The mom will notice that the matching pants are not upstairs.

When the mom goes downstairs to look for the pants, the small child will decide that he wants noodles for a snack.

While the mom preparing the noodles (in a very precise manner as determined by the OCD child), the child will discover that there is CHEESE on the counter, and will request some of this yummy goodness.

When the small child is occupied with cheese, and is waiting for the noodles to finish, the mom will notice that a corner of the kitchen could use some attention. Let the cleaning commence.

When the mom finally dishes out the noodles to the small child, another child comes over to investigate the cleaning and offers to help.

When the child offers to help, he asks a million questions about where to put everything. The mom is, however, VERY thankful for the help, especially since some sketchy things were uncovered. Ewwww.

When the mom and the child have the corner under control, the mom heads back to the laundry room, to discover that the dryer has only 15 more minutes.

When the mom sees that she has a few minutes before another load of clothes needs to be folded, she decides she has just enough time to grab some Advil.

When the mom gets herself some water, the small child will want some, too, with ice.

And, instead of a nap, the mom might just wish that someone had offered her a drink instead.

**this may or may not have been my FB status earlier today**

Happy Sunday, and I hope you got a nap!