[photopress:folded_jeans_1109.jpg,thumb,pp_style]By Tammy Schneider
Completely submerged and frantically trying to swim my way through the regular ocean of laundry the other day, I began rehearsing my usual “this family can’t possibly go through this many clothes in two days” lecture. I felt helpless, harassed and more than a little put out. With a house full of boys, the myriad of assorted sports clothing, from soccer shorts and baseball socks to swim trunks and football jerseys come custom designed each day with chlorine scented, grass stained, dirt grimed patterns. These along with Dad’s dress shirts and baby’s milk stained rompers, the task seemed endless and I seemed doomed to the dark dredges of washroom depression for the remainder of my harried life!
Suddenly I stopped – mid-rant – as an absolutely crazy thought popped into my mind. ‘Boy, I’m thankful for these clean clothes,’ it said. I remembered last summer when we camped out in the mountains and how grubby and awful it felt to wear those same clothes two or three days in a row. By the time we found showers, we were not only dirty but itchy and, not just a little stinky.
We joked that we felt like true pioneers who had been on the trail too long (imagine their clothes, smell and feelings after weeks of dirty travel!) ‘Man, I’m glad I don’t have to do that very often,’ I mused. Slightly taken back by such a random thought, I paused for a moment. Then I took a deep sniff of the pile of clean white t-shirts, smiled and continued my task.
Since then, I have wondered at the many, many things that usually irritate me, normal nuisances in everyday life that I am beginning to realize are really wonderfully disguised blessings. Things like the Lego’s and Tinker toys that are forever strewn across the floor and always under foot. The balls that constantly bounce somewhere in the house (despite repeated warnings to take them outside) and the doll blankets laying on every chair in sight, some with precious “babies” under them. All reminders that there are children, and thus, life and hope, happiness and energy dwelling within the walls of our home.
There are also the dishes that are piled in the sink waiting to be washed. What starts as a few cups each morning, breeds so rapidly into mountains of assorted flatware within the blink of an eye. A closer look at those once food covered plates actually show me how truly wonderful it is to know that there is food enough to keep those plates full and our stomachs satisfied each day!
I’m thankful for the beds that must be made, each one with its own pile of pillows that forever need propping, for every morning I am not just straightening sheets and covers, I am really making up warmth and rest and soft dreams to snuggle into when the day is done and the body is tired each night.
I’ll admit I’m actually glad when the day is over, if truth be known. It is those very sunsets that illuminate the horizon at the close of each day, with all the reds and yellows ablaze in the ever darkening sky, that have given me the peace and the strength at times to see the next day through.
I guess I’m even thankful for all the noise that permeates our home and never seems to stop. It is the sounds of running feet down the hallway, of doors slamming as someone enters or exits this bustling existence of a household. It’s the giggles coming from the playroom or the singing coming from the shower, the music blaring from a bedroom or the grinding motors out in the garage.
Those are the very sounds that reassure me that, no matter what goes on outside these walls, despite rising costs, lower health care, increased taxes, decreased morals or the multitude of worrisome issues that plague us each day, in this place, in this corner of the universe there is laughter, there is joy, there is life and, above all, there is love in the world still.