Laundry / by Kate Brightbill

Today I was doing laundry again, and it seemed I had enough thoughts whirling in my head that I needed to write a post devoted to the subject of laundry. 

The girls were playing imagination the other day, that daddy was Mickey, Sophie was Minnie, and Maggie was Minnie Junior. and I was the cleaning lady. It cracked me up, and then made me shake my head. Children can be the most funny, frank little beings, can't they? 

Indeed, I am cleaning lady here. I honestly LOVE clean, uncluttered beautiful spaces. I try to get a moment each day where my home looks as such. Home is really such a work in progress. It's obviously not in an average budget to have walls entirely filled with perfect art in exactly as we envision, kilim rugs disguising dust particles with gorgeous dignity, or non-hand-me down furniture whose drawers open and close dreamily.

For now, I'd much rather keep our home-sweet-imperfect-home in good order, and the rest can progress over time... hence the affectionate "cleaning lady" reference by my children. I promise, I play with them too. 

This post was to be about laundry, so let me get back to that. Tonight I was moving a load of laundry from the washer to the dryer, thinking grr, I would rather have had my feet up on the coffee table, snacking on a donut. I thought again, and shifted thinking toward how thankful I was for that moment. Doing laundry, yes.

About a million years ago, aka in 2005, we went on a trip to Kenya {where I left bits of my heart behind}. While there, I was chatting with some local girls a few years younger than me about laundry. They were teaching me to wash my laundry effectively with a bucket and a bar of soap. They asked about the machines they'd heard we use for our laundry. "Why?" they asked, "...why would you use a machine when doing laundry is so easy?" They asked this as they were using their full arm strength to wash article after article for the house, that they would later hang with those same arms to dry in the hot sun. Contentedly doing their laundry, sweetly working their hardest.

The question the girls asked was met with a pause and an embarrassed "I don't know."

What did I not know?

I didn't know how to explain to them how sometimes I like to complain about tossing a load of clothing into a washer that does ALL THE WORK for me. I didn't know how to explain that around here, we need to do load after load after load every week, because we have so many clothes at our disposal. 

In the moment I felt like complaining, I got a glimpse of perspective. Of gratitude. 

Sooo bring it, markers on sheets. Bring it, dirty handprints on clean dishtowels. Bring it, spilled milk.

I have no room to complain. ;)

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