Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Lesson From My Mother

Ever since we moved into our adorable little house in September, I find myself doing things I never thought I would do. Not necessarily because I don't like doing them, but just because they've always been things that grown-ups do. More specifically, they've always been things that Mom did, and I had never been able to picture myself in her "taking care of things" role. Last Fall I wrote about the surreal experience of baking pies in my very own kitchen and the almost out-of-body feeling I had when I realized that I was doing things just like her. It was quite a moment - proud, strong, wifely and homey all at once. Today I had another experience just as powerful.

Last week when Chud was cleaning out the basement we found tons of clothesline hanging between the rafters that we had never seen before. "Cool," I thought. "A place to hang clothes to dry." Except I never hang clothes to dry and always throw everything in the dryer no matter what (I know, not a very house-wifely thing to do, but hey, I hate doing laundry). So the clothesline sat there and I didn't give it another thought.

Then today, I decided it's been way too long since we've had fresh sheets on our bed and I decided to wash them. As I pulled them out of the washing machine and started to throw them in the dryer, I glanced at that clothesline and a memory hit me from so long ago it nearly knocked me over.

When I was little, every once in a while (because she was a busy woman, too) Mom would take the time to hang our sheets on a line outside to dry. Then, when she tucked us into bed at night, she'd lay her head down on the pillow with us and we'd take a big whiff of that fresh-air-dried goodness together. We'd smile and snuggle and cuddle and she'd say "There's nothing better than sheets hung outside." And she was right. Those were the nights that I'd lay there and drift off to sleep wrapped in fresh air and Mom's love - nothing ever felt better.

So, today I threw the sheets in the dryer just for a few minutes while I worked on the clothesline. I cut it down from the rafters and strung it up between two trees in the backyard. The previous owners also left plenty of clothespins, too, so I clipped a bunch to the hem of my shirt, grabbed the sheets from the dryer and got to work. It took about five minutes total, and now I can stand back and let nature do the rest.

I've always wanted to hang sheets outside, but in my old apartments it just wasn't ever possible. Once again, (because I'm a sap), I stood there hanging sheets and thought about Mom, Grandma, Grandma's Mom and so on, and wondered if all the mothers in my family shared that fresh-air sheet snuggle with their kids. I hope they did, because I plan to pass along the warm fuzzy feeling to my kids, too. Chud thought I was a little bit crazy when I told him what I was doing - poor guy's never slept in air-dried sheets. I hope he appreciates it when he lays his head down tonight!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go call my Mother!

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