Monday, December 04, 2006

Laundry is my least favorite task

I despise housework. I never really knew that when I was looking for the love of my life to marry, I was really looking for the man I would clean up after, and who would expect me to work miracles at home without his help. I am not bad mouthing my husband, there are few men who are not like that, I have concluded after talking to many many young wives. Anyway, I am having to replace my vision of cuddling, reading, and talking for long happy hours while maids do the housework, and realize the reality of life. I'm having to learn to let the children cry while I finish the dishes, because if I don't, the dishes take all day, and the kids cry every time I try to get them done, and I become some kind of slave to their whims, and no one is happy. I'm learning this by trial and error. Laundry, though, is the key and my most despised chore. I don't know why, but when laundry goes, everything goes. But since I hate it, I tend to put it off, and so everything tends to go to pot. My hubby suffers from mild OCD, we think, and he falls into a deep depression when the house gets a little messy. I have to learn how to do this right!

While I'm trying to figure out how to better do this housework, and somehow still have time for the kids, I am also a scout leader and primary teacher. In scouts, I am a first generation teacher, meaning I'm starting everything from scratch. There are no materials, advice, or really anything being passed on. I know nothing. I'm having to put a lot of thought and time into what I'm going to do with these boys. Primary is a little easier, but it still takes time and preparation.
I have been totally skipping my visiting teaching, because I just can't think any more. I have too much on my plate with Christmas coming up, and all the weddings, birthdays, births, and so many other things we women are supposed to keep up with. Being a grown-up is work. Being a mother is work. It's just work work work.

The Laundry on the Chair

Alone and mad I swore at him – next to the hamper lay his clothes.
Still draped across the chair, they shouted: No respect! No appreciation!
For all I did and all I’d done, he could show some consideration.
Just as I muttered a silent vow, ice on flames shot through my soul.
My arms felt numb—I froze in place. I could not breathe--my heart jumped pace.

He would never toss another shirt--Not on the chair, not on the floor.
He’d never leave another dish; glance back before he closed the door.
Again he’d hold me tenderly and ease my angry brow, if only
He were able…He’d never do it now.

Grief-overwhelmed, I’d left his bed, and home I went with cloudy head.
Looked around at our old lives, each child attached to hip and thigh.
Oh how precious, light to bear, were the clothes piled on the chair,
And how I sobbed to realize it’d be the last I’d find them there.

I let them lie there several weeks, a symbol of his life with me…
Sometimes at night I’d sit and stare at the clothes he’d touched, still on the chair…
Knowing if I picked them up, the next day there would not be more,
and never would be more again. Regret, ashamed, I’d once resented
Little things I now lamented.

Wiping tears from a wiser face, I smiled--the clothes still in their place.
The sun still shone, he had not died, my daydream warned and then goodbyed.
Laughed out loud with happiness, removed his toss of thoughtlessness,
Grateful knowing on the morrow--there’d be more-- for days to follow.

-V. Ferguson
August 3, 2006