The Emptying Nest

For the last 32 years, I’ve been a mom. OK, what I mean to say is that for the last 32 years I’ve been doing laundry.  Laundry that isn’t my own. Laundry that requires sorting, and special pretreating, and includes sometimes removing – let’s face it – some pretty gross substances from fabric.

You’d think as the kids got older, it would get easier, but somehow not only did the amounts of clothes increase exponentially, but the gross substances, got grosser and harder to remove from the fabric. And somehow the time it took to do the laundry increased exponentially as well. Nothing, I thought, would make me happier than reducing the amount of clothes I had to wash each week.

Over the years, I took to calling the pile of clothes that accumulated near the washing machine, Mount Laundry.  Sometimes scaling Mount Laundry took most of the week, only to have the mountain rebuild itself seemingly with every step I’d take.  By the time I got to washing my own clothes, it was usually late Sunday night before I’d have to be dressed and pressed for work the next morning.


Not only did it take forever to get everything washed, dried, ironed and folded, but inevitably, there were always mismatched items – socks mostly. I know this is a common occurrence, but it was that one thing that seemed to be the most frustrating thing about laundry.  Orphaned socks.  I used to think I’d rejoice if I ever washed and dried a load of laundry where every sock came out cleaned and dried along with it’s mate.

This week, as I folded the last load, I was surprised to find 12 socks, each with it’s own matching mate. I have to admit, I sat down and cried a little bit.

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