Now I am no fool. My kids fold their own laundry. But I am neglectful sometimes, and my two youngest had at least two weeks of unfolded clothes. Last week it had seemed easier to let them live out of the laundry basket than enforce rigorous folding regimes. Since I am also impatient sometimes, I decided this week to fold and put them away myself.
So after I folded my clothes and my husband's clothes (don't ask*), and after I got after the older four kids to get theirs done (I confess. I had purposefully overlooked more than just the youngest two's lack of folding. In fact, only one child had folded their clothes last week), I folded and put away Joseph's clothes.
One more basket. ONE MORE BASKET. Laundry purgatory nearly escaped!! But as I walked to my room with Matthew's basket on my hip, Joseph bounded up, boldly smiling his toothless grin, "Mom, want help folding Matthew's clothes?"
Of course I didn't! If I wanted his brand of help I would have encouraged him to fold his own. I was only one stinking basket away from finished!
But his enthusiasm struck me dumb a moment. One moment. A pause. A reflection. What was a little more time in laundry purgatory compared to answering his earnestness with gratitude?
"Sure thing, I'd love some help," I answered in the faux-what-a-fun-adventure voice all mothers master.
My apprentice folder added at least 5 minutes to my folding time. In those five minutes we talked about the first 3 weeks of school. I learned a silly writing exercise his teacher assigned in class ("Can you believe it, Mom?" he giggled, "it was so funny.") and how many of Matthew clothes used to be his ("All these pajamas used to be mine! I loved this one!"). We joked, we laughed, we folded. He talked, I listened.
Those five minutes were the best of my entire day.
Who knew I could find heaven by staying in laundry purgatory a little while longer?
*Fine, do ask. I fold my husband's laundry. And I feel like I should be ashamed by this. And then I feel bad that I don't feel ashamed. So I think I should pretend to be ashamed, but I can't bring myself to do it. So if my laundry folding insults you, please feel free to get a life.