Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What Pants Are They Wearing?


Recently I was presented with a daunting challenge.  I believe it's a challenge all families come face-to-face with at some point, but, for me, this time it was more intense than usual.

The challenge: wrestling that monumental pile of laundry into baskets of clean, ready-to-wear clothes.  Or, if done especially well, having those clean, folded clothes put away in drawers and closets with the laundry baskets empty and stacked ready for the next challenge

Usually I don't find laundry too overwhelming as long as I keep at it regularly. Sure, there are weeks when the boys know they should just dig through the basket of unfolded, clean clothes to find the underwear they need or the shirt they want.  But I believe there are more weeks without baskets of unfolded clothes tucked against walls or in corners than with.  Or, maybe I just delude myself into believing that.

However, laundry has been neglected terribly as I have been extremely busy.  Deadlines have loomed, papers have been scattered throughout the dining room, and I've been planted in front of the computer most of my days and well into the nights.  I've been living on caffeine and the thought that there would soon come an end to it all.

Clothes have been left unwashed in overflowing hampers and baskets.  Each night I would have the same conversation with the boys as they were laying out their clothes for the following day, "Do you have clean socks for tomorrow?  How about a clean shirt?  Underwear?  No?, OK, lets go dig through the basket of clean to see what we can find...whew!  1 pair, well, at least the important basics are covered."  

Finally the day I dreaded came when I realized the boys' clean pants were no longer a neatly folded pile in the closet but instead just part of the overflow of the laundry hampers.  Ugh!!  The load I least like to do when the sun is shining and the grass is green.  

Again I spent my few precious moments alone that evening and into the night working while everyone was lovely and quietly asleep in their beds.  However, I took a necessary break from the computer long enough to pick through the many laundry hampers to collect together just the boys' jeans.  Pockets were checked for the many and varied bits of boy treasure.  Knees were scrubbed in an effort to remove remnants of mud and grass.  The constant need to scrub at pants in the warm weather is probably the biggest reason the pile of pants was left to grow into two large loads with a few pairs left ready for the next time!  

I crawled into bed in the wee hours leaving two baskets of clean, wet jeans sitting ready to be hung out when daylight brought the promise of sunshine and spring.  I hung up those pants one by one and enjoyed the warmth of the sun shining on me.  My mind wandered aimlessly until I began to wonder, "What pants are they wearing to school today??" 

"Are they even wearing pants??"

And because I was particularly tired that morning after another very late night in a long string of very late nights, I decided it would be interesting to see what they were wearing when they came home.  I can honestly say I was actually a little relieved to see they all came home with semi-clean, decent looking pants on that day.