One thing I have noticed about parenting is that it can make you feel flat out crazy some days. I am not talking about putting-the-purse-in-the-fridge crazy OR spending-an-hour-looking-for keys-that-are-already-in-your-hand crazy. I am talking about how some days ONE MORE LOAD of laundry can make you insane in the brain because yours MUST be the only 4-person family who goes through 20 towels weekly and still smells like a baboon on bath strike.
And how am I supposed to become the adult that I am supposed to be if all that I do is laundry all the time? How am I supposed to stimulate my brain to meet its potential if I am hitting a knuckle-breaking BRICK WALL over a clothes pile? I am talking enough of a flipout session that the mom says, peace out my people, this chick is taking a two-hour hike through the woods to go find herself (and if I don’t come back, don’t come looking for me because I am probably staring at the moon and wishing I called it my zip code- maybe even howling at it). This may not sound all that unusual to you- whiny, yes, but not unusual- except for what follows the next day.
The following day is a Monday. It is quiet at the home and/or office. And since I typically work from home, I am still folding laundry. Only like I said, this time it is quiet. Too quiet. My people are at school and work. No one is begging me to watch how they’ve figured out how to give themselves a wedgie. No one is saying they can’t eat the pasta because it has a singular kernel of cracked pepper hidden in it. No one is around to wipe a booger on the wall and call it art.
And so the very same chore that put me over the edge yesterday puts me over an ENTIRELY different edge today. North Pole meets South Pole. I am staring at the socks and noticing that it’s getting harder to tell our socks from theirs. Their feet have lost all chubbiness. I even felt a callous on my little dancer’s feet the other night. The years are taking their turn on her. My son, too.
And so, here I am, weepy with gratefulness over the fact that I am privileged enough to HAVE laundry to fold. And that these articles of clothing- stained beyond bleach capabilities and tattered in places that tell whole stories of pumpkin patches and hayrides and ball practices- are here. In my hands. And that my hands get the gift of touching them on a regular basis and filing away a memory for each beach towel or t-shirt into the shaky recesses of my mind. The same laundry that just twenty-four hours ago nearly sent me to the time-out farm.
And so, yes, parenting makes me crazy. It makes me unreadable and moody and tired and incredibly grateful because- what better reason to be all of those things? Now please excuse me while I go shake my index finger right off of my hand at someone for leaving a freshly, rancid wet towel on the floor. And then cry about it 24 hours later because- just because.
Note: Wrinkle ridges have been observed on the surface of the Moon for over a century. I know because I stare at them sometimes too.