Monday, 7 April 2014

For the love of laundry...

The thirtieth of March was Mothering Sunday here in the UK.  To celebrate, our church had put together a little presentation of things the children had said about their mums.  It was pretty cute; you know the kind of thing.  "How would you describe your mum in one word?" got answers like, "Fantastic", "Beautiful", and "Bossy boots".  The next question was, "What is your mum good at?"  I was just giggling at some of the responses, when up on screen flashed:
Hanging the washing out. (Toby, 3)
Now, our church is a large one, but I'm pretty sure we have the only three-year-old Toby in it.  Therefore my son thinks that my lifetime pinnacle of achievement, the one thing I could win awards in, is putting clothes on racks to dry.  Isn't it great to know what you're capable of?

It really is as exciting as it looks.
I have to admit, I have had rather a lot of practice.  In fact, ferrying clothes from washing basket to machine to drying racks to drawers sometimes seems to take up most of my waking hours.  And it's not what you might call an absorbing pastime.  Especially when you turn around and whooomph! that washing basket which was empty five minutes ago has mysteriously filled up to overflowing.  I didn't know we even had that many clothes!

And cloth nappies.  But you never have enough of those.
One of those things that people tell you about is doing everything to the glory of God.  Somehow this gets a special emphasis when your "everything" consists of wiping little noses, picking up endless toy cars and being woken up in the night, while trying to tell yourself that this will produce functioning  adult humans in, um, twenty years or so.  And in amongst the sleep deprivation you wonder how that heap of dirty washing you keep stepping over is supposed to glorify anybody, particularly God.

I don't have the whole answer, but I think one important part is remembering to be thankful.  I can groan as I yank another load of sheets out of the machine, I can yell at Toby as he runs through a puddle in his third pair of trousers that day, I can pull my hair out as Theo calmly dirties a nappy not five minutes after being changed... or I can say thank you.

  • Thank you for the invention of the automatic washing machine - and that we can afford to have one.  (Just imagine having to do all this by hand!)
    O lovely washing machine!  You certainly earn your keep.
  • Thank you for clothes to wear, and the generosity represented by all the friends who gave us babywear as gifts.
  • Thank you for space to hang all this washing, and for the spring weather that makes pegging it out in the sunshine a pleasure.
    Except that all that pegging makes it take twice as long - oops, I'm meant to be being thankful!
  • Thank you for happy, healthy children that enjoy life - even when it's hard on their clothes.
  •  And if nothing else:  Thank you that one day, those children will be able to do their own laundry!
Happy washing!

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