So many times I find myself trying to cram so much into my spare time. I mean, who doesn’t? We have such little free time. And in this little bit of free time, who doesn’t feel the obligation to pursue activities to keep our little ones entertained whiling trying to also create memories for them? I know I do.

Saturday night mayhem.

Saturday night mayhem.

But this weekend, I felt a wave of memories at an incredibly unexpected time. Recently I’ve been challenging myself to slow down, take it easy, and let little stuff slide. On Saturday evening, my pre-K daughter followed me upstairs while I changed the sheets on my bed and folded clean clothes. I put a record on my old Panasonic stereo from high school (something I hadn’t done in a long time) and she “helped” me strip and remake our bed. I even let her to jump on it – a taboo activity in these parts. She wanted me to turn up the music so that we could sing and dance. She was having an INCREDIBLE time.

The whole scene caught me off guard and made me a little emotional. I remembered that most of my fondest memories centered on laundry. Is that weird? Kinda sounds weird, doesn’t it? I have more memories of just playing in my house while my mother did chores than I do of being out and about and attending kid-centric events. And these are the sweetest, warmest, most comforting recollections about being a child. Lying in warm clothes just out of the dryer, the sounds of the washing machine and vacuum while I played with my toys in my room … the knowledge that she was close by. I remember staying home sick when I was a kid and hearing my mom running the vacuum downstairs. My husband has shown concern about me doing a load of wash at night, as the laundry room is so close to my daughter’s room. He thinks it’s going to wake her up or keep her from falling asleep. I can only think that it helps comfort her, because it means that Mom is in the house and nearby. I think I remember someone telling me that once, and I always liked that.

And now my daughter loves helping me pull sheets off the bed and lying underneath them, dragging her chair over to the washing machine, putting the detergent in, and flinging clothes into the rising water. And the pièce de résistance? Pushing the button on the dryer! Good stuff!

It’s doing these chores with my daughter, watching her play while I fold laundry all cozied up in my pajamas, that allows me to get a glimpse of things with my own mother’s perspective. She was about the age I am now when she had a daughter that was CP’s age. I rarely put myself in my Mom’s shoes, but I got a dose of it this weekend and I think it was good for me. It’s wonderful to think that some memories are just timeless, simple, and lovely.

“Sunsets, like childhood, are viewed with wonder not just because they are beautiful but because they are fleeting.”
Richard Paul Evans, The Gift

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