[Just a quick note: check out my Author Facebook page for a couple of giveaways I’m doing now by clicking here.]
My son (minus the heavy beard that he came home with, you might recall, over spring break, now with a much lighter, nicely trimmed one) is home from college now. He arrived with five “mystery bags” that he plopped down casually outside the laundry room.
I didn’t say anything, but neither did he. Now, he is the baby, the third out of three, and he has two older sisters. So the child knows how to deal with women, especially a house full of them who make it their moral duty not to allow him to, God forbid, turn into a man who can’t pull his own weight. But, also because he is the baby, he is absolutely charming, and he can sweet talk his mother out of nearly anything. Almost. So, to be honest, I wasn’t quite sure how this particular issue was going to turn out.
His sisters are still at college, plus I stubbed my toe on one of the bags, so I knew I had to, ahem, raise the topic of exactly which of us was going to tackle this…er, situation. I posted the pic of the laundry bags on my Facebook page this week, and the reaction from people who saw it was loud and clear: WAKE HIM UP, HAUL HIS SKINNY ARSE OUT OF BED, AND GET HIM TO DO HIS OWN LAUNDRY! And don’t let the bottle of detergent hit him in the head on the way into the laundry room.
This unanimous reaction was a relief! Because I’ve (well, actually my husband and I, lest anyone forget I’m half the team here) tried really hard to raise my son as I did my daughters–to fend for himself, to be independent, to expect anyone, male or female, EVER to pick up after him. And not every parent does this, apparently, because after we hauled all his stuff out of his dorm room this week, he told me his RA said that some moms were cleaning their son’s dorm rooms for them before the mandatory final inspection.
My son then emitted a tiny snort (on seeing my *eyeroll*, methinks). “I didn’t think you’d go for that,” he said. “That’s why I already Cloroxed my shelves and defrosted my mini-fridge.”
Sometimes that boy just warms the cockles of my heart. This is the same child, mind you, that cleaned his entire room before he left for college last fall EXCEPT for one (damp) towel which he purposely left as a gift to me in the middle of his bedroom floor (for sentimental reasons, because every blessed day of his teenage life I nagged him to hang it up in the bathroom, for gosh sakes!) (But probably with slightly saucier language that I won’t repeat here.)
But back to those giant bags of laundry…turns out I had quite a surprise. When I finally confronted him, he said, “Why, Mother, I washed it all before I came home. I just didn’t have anywhere to put it so I bought a box of garbage bags.”
I was completely floored. Thrilled, really. (But I did remind him that did NOT count as a Mother’s Day present.)
And lest you think I’m really too good of a mother, guess what happened this morning? Well…let’s just say the wet towel’s back on his bedroom floor.
That’s okay. I’ll pick my battles. Because the war zone is pretty peaceful right now. And sometimes, for just a little while in this marathon, you have to bask a little when you do things right.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, aunts, caretakers, sisters, pet owners, and any woman who takes care of anyone or anything! You’re all awesome!