16 Jun

I’m folding laundry in front of Paula Zahn Now one night, relaxing after another chasingyellingfeedingsmellinggiggling day with my girls. I love doing the laundry-a simple mindless task with one purpose-clean nice smelling clothes. I grew up using the laundromat, so I find doing my laundry in the privacy of my own house a luxury.

As I folded the shirts and the pants of my daughters, I thought back to being pregnant with Vivian. After a business trip to Houston, I stopped at my in laws where they had a surprise shower for me. I lugged home what I could, the rest was mailed. I opened the suitcases, and the boxes in the empty sunny room, blue carpet, green walls, that was going to be my firstborn’s room. I sat on that floor, opening every tiny piece of clothing, marvelling at it all, at the fact that I would need it all, and the tiny fact of it’s being.

It was so new. I washed it all, drying it on the line in the backyard, in the sun, whipped by the warm late spring wind. I stood back to stare at all the little shirts and socks and hats and facecloths. It hit me at that moment how real the whole thing was.

I spent time folding it, hanging it, wondering if my baby would wear it, how long they would wear it, how I’d get it ON the baby. I let my fingers linger in the drawers, on the shelves as I entered the room, waiting, waiting. I stared at all the soaps and cremes, dumbfounded. I had no idea what was to come.

How new it all was. How clean and unfolded and sharp those few months before Vivian were. How I wanted everything to be just right, how I grew up so fast. How wonderful and happy my daughter was.

Folding my laundry now, I can’t help but be  struck by the speed of light, of time. Not four years ago I was in a different house, waiting for my life to change, folding newborn diaper shirts scared shitless. Their pants get longer and longer, the shirts bigger the stains harder. We grow. The baskets overflow, and I can no longer dictate what they wear, already!

I ache for the changes in those piles, how quickly they have changed, how soon the tiny outfits of babyhood are lost to the wider world of shorts and skirts and nail polish and haircuts.

How quickly it all has gone.

6 Responses to “Folds.”

  1. jen June 16, 2007 at 6:35 pm #

    so true…so true. i see the length of their legs now and i remember when they fit all tucked into my arm, and how she wraps around my body with legs dangling.

  2. Kim June 17, 2007 at 2:04 am #

    This is the stuff that squeezes my heart. The details of life that go unnoticed when we are too busy/ asleep/ somewhere else in our minds. I am washing bottles every day now as I store up breastmilk for my infant son. Each time I twist the brush inside the bottle I go back 2 years to those days with my daughter. How far away they are… and now she feeds her “babies” with her old bottles. Thanks for the memory.

  3. cherylann June 17, 2007 at 2:57 am #

    i love this.

  4. thordora June 17, 2007 at 6:40 am #

    Kim-When I see bottles now, I do see sleepless nights, but i also see those wonderful nights of just the two of you, the baby guzzling milk contentedly, staring at the daily show, or just the wall. Those little quiet moments, the ritual of bottlecleaning…things that seem so much of a pain at the time, but it’s all true-they really do end so fast…

  5. thordora June 17, 2007 at 6:41 am #

    Jen-I picked my oldest up like a baby the other day, and was really hit by how she’s not a baby, how she’s so big-she was the tiniest little thing at birth (under 6 pounds) and to see her tall and jangly…man…

  6. Jen June 18, 2007 at 8:05 am #

    I cannot wait for baby clothes again (although I’m sure as soon as I see ’em I’ll panic over how teeny they are.)

    It hits me most when Lucy puts her head against my stomach to give a kiss to the baby and I can’t believe she used to fit in there.

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