When the laundry piles up, unpack, fold, write (and repeat)

I would rather write instead of fold bright-colored miniature sized cotton shirts, iron tiny pairs of jeans; match countless socks missing their mates. I miss my mate too, but before I can lie with him at the end of the day, I hang shirts and tees, stack slacks and sweats, empty children’s play into a tidy closet bursting with speckles of dry dirt, shoe laces unraveling, the slight indescribable smell of boys.

I would rather polish my lines of poetry or write an essay about love or life or anything other than loads of clothes we line dry to preserve their wear. Come to think of it, kids don’t grow as fast as we’d like to think. We often inadvertently shrink their clothes and wonder why those brand new clothes don’t fit after a few rounds in the laundry. I learned years ago the dryer is not a friend to the hem, the sleeve, the growing child, and in the shallow of parents’ pockets. The dryer is also not a friend to the would-be writer; still its domestic ordinary finds its way into these lines.

There is no room for words spun into beautiful swirls of nonsense; my room is spinning with circular baskets covered in persistent grass stains and mysteries crumpled up in pockets. I tell my son to empty his young and curious life in the palm of his hand, so mom (or dad) can wash away his play in eerily quiet, high-efficiency, low water.

This is parenting, not poetry, not playing with words, not research, not writing—or maybe it is. I uncover those elusive lines in unexpected places, under the piles of laundry where life hides and unfolds its lovely narratives.

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Categories: Writing

4 Comments on “When the laundry piles up, unpack, fold, write (and repeat)”

  1. October 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    Very nice writing! Original but not overdone. Evocative yet warm. As a mom of 4 boys and sharing many of your interests, I look forward to reading more.

    • Dionne
      October 16, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      Hi there. Well thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed this piece. Four boys…wow! Well, we mothers of boys do our best and talk about it along the way don’t we? It is wonderful that you stopped by for a visit and that you’ve found that we have similar interests. Thanks for subscribing and feel free to comment any time!

  2. Awanthi Vardaraj
    April 30, 2012 at 2:33 am #

    So beautiful.

    • April 30, 2012 at 9:40 am #

      Thank you Awanthi.

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