Friday, November 21, 2008

Dirty Laundry

I have the privilege of working from home, which means that daily chores are squeezed into unspectacular and ordinary moments between batches of my transcription and editing. I was laid low by the flu this week and found my house, after three days of doing almost nothing, a mess. Feeling like I can rejoin the living today, I began by addressing the most pressing and dreaded of my household chores... the laundry.

Of all my household jobs, I hate laundry the most. I hate the big baskets of dirty clothes that seem to breed in the upstairs hall. I hate that all the clothing is inside out because that's the way it’s been taken off. I hate having to extract socks from pant legs. I hate sorting darks from whites, and I hate transferring heavy, wet clothes from the washer to the dryer. I hate folding clothes—especially those horrible fitted bed sheets—and I hate matching socks. I put the clothes away just to see them back in the laundry basket within a few days.

This humblest of chores ranks right up there with cleaning the toilet (and walls and floor) after a first-grade boy has used it. I do these things without complaining, understanding that the chores which fill my ordinary moments are necessary to the smooth functioning of our household. Watching Corban, however, I realize this all may be a matter of perspective. After all, when he encounters laundry implements—the dryer, clothes baskets, clothespins—surely he doesn’t see the drudgery. In the eyes of an adventurous and imaginative child, there are no ordinary moments.

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