04 September 2018

a laundry room



well, just as i've uploaded the photos and started to write, i'm in tears. the truth is, it's hard for me to articulate just what a laundry room ~ the dream of one ~ is, to me. how can i tell you about the mother-me who steps the threshold to rinse and soak and steam and fold her own family's (her own, can you believe it, baby's) belongings without, too, telling of the woman who came before, who would squirrel away thrifted baby knits, who would throw them in with her own clothes and whisper a quiet prayer. and, too, of the girl who came before her, who would hide in the basement amongst the whirring wash, at the tender age of five, the only place that felt quiet, safe, where she was un-findable. 

to some, a chore, a room; but to me this is nothing short of sacred, this space a cathedral. i commune with God while doing the family wash. you too? worship. a "passionate hobby" i've said before, and "a love language." i reach out as i write this, bring some baby-cloth to my nose, my lips. i tell my heart of this scent, "keep this like you do his rooster crows and kisses, keep them like banked fires."

i have a hundred-fold dreams for this room. the memory-dreams and the dreams of the sweet-sweat-tear projects that will spin this into the space i'll someday replay the memories in front of. can you see floor-to-ceiling subway tile, amish pegs with a mother's bristled brooms and market totes, a bright brass pendant, penny tiles underfoot, the punctuation of fresh black labels, enamelware here and there and the old-fashioned style clothespins, sprigs of green on the faucet? 

and too, the dreams unfolding already as i write. a tender pile of sewing work (spin the sweater into mittens for roo), brightening the brass, a drawer where hands know to find the candles in a storm (memory etched even with the lights out), where tiny hands can pull lace sheets to build a fort, or a vase for flowers for keeping or giving away. i dream of my children knowing me in this space, watching me stretching for the millionth time on a wednesday afternoon, doing the beloved work of her motherhood. i dream of them knowing the space like their own palms, intimate, humble, open. i dream of them handing me muddied sweaters and trusting they'll come back fresh, clean, newly buoyed with love -- simply because the effort was believed in. i dream of them seeing a door ajar and feeling love. 

i suppose it's something so simple, really. it's the evidence that we care for things here. that as their father and i always say to each other, about this life, about this work of parenthood: "everything matters." 

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