Friday, January 1, 2010

My Son's Laundry

"I'll do it when I get back!" my son Patrick yelled over his shoulder as he raced out the door. He'd finish doing his laundry after he returns home tonight. Later tonight. In fact, he'll probably stay up until well past midnight, sorting his socks and folding his washcloths and towels before packing them - actually it's more like tossing them - into his bags.

One of the things I really dislike is folding laundry, especially my son's. He's 19 years old, for heaven's sake! He's certainly capable of doing such a mundane task, and I'll bet that he does a fine job of it while he's away at college. His socks get matched, since they're all the same brand and color - white. He separates his shirts from the rest of the clothes and later hangs them on hangers in his closet. Several pairs of jeans are hurriedly squeezed into the bottom drawer of his small college dresser. When the task is finally completed, he's most likely out the door again and off to enjoy some time with his friends.

So here I sit folding my son's shirts and jeans and trying not to get irritated that I'm even doing his laundry at all. Wasn't he supposed to do this? So what if he's been irresponsible and has to stay up until 2:00 in the morning to fold his towels? He should have been more organized, and by golly, he should have anticipated this! How many time had I reminded him to do his laundry during these last few carefree days during the Christmas break?

But tonight is different. Much different. Tonight is the last night he'll see his best friend Wes for a while. Wes is now a Marine in the U.S. military, and he just completed his boot camp training. In three days Wes'll be transferred to another part of the country for further military training. And then what will his future hold? According to Wes, he'll most likely be sent to Afghanistan to serve. He'll serve people like me and you. Like my kids and my neighbors, too.

I'm no longer irritated as I fold my son's laundry. And as I remove yet another article of clothing from the enormous pile, a tear falls on my son's clean shirt. How is it that the most irritating tasks can become the ones you actually love completing? Perspective. It's all in the way that you look at the situation. Right now.

I know that there are countless moms who would love to be folding their son's or daughter's clothes right now. But they can't. Their son or daughter isn't home - not now and maybe not for a long time. Maybe never.

Thanks, Wes, for unknowingly helping to change this mom's perspective. May God bless you wherever you go.


Kerry ABOUT ME said...

It's all about perspective, isn't it? What a thought provoking post. Freedom really isn't free as those boys and girls overseas can attest. I'll remember that the next time I do the laundry (because I sure hate doing it too!) Blessings to you in the New Year!

Kerry Osborne

WhiteStone said...

God bless all our brave young men and women. Thanks for this post. We serve each other in many ways, don't we!

Cindy Pinsonnault said...

Thanks for this post, Karen. It is lovely and a good reminder to us all, especially at this time of year.

Anonymous said...

what great perspective you have...looking forward to reading future entries.