I love to do laundry. I enjoy sorting the lights from the darks. I like saving specific items from the dryer so they don’t shrink—when I remember. I’ve ruined many things! I like hanging shirts up right out of the dryer so wrinkling is minimal. I even like folding clothes and putting them away. I love laundry day, which is traditionally Monday.
Last week, while hanging up freshly-laundered clothes, I grabbed a plastic hanger that is wrapped with fabric and has a little netting with potpourri in it, hanging in the center. I smiled and sniffed the potpourri. It didn’t smell like anything. That’s not surprising though since my daughter made it for me when she was little, about 25 years ago. It was a Mother’s Day project she made in Missionettes at church. Although it has no scent, still I closed my eyes and smiled. The memories attached to the hanger were sweeter than any aroma my nose could sense.
At times like that I have a war in my chest. Heartwarming memories battle with the melancholy that comes from longing for days gone by. As usual, my mind tried to wish I’d enjoyed those busy days more. Full schedules, part-time jobs, social and church obligations consumed each hectic day.
Still, some days seemed to drag on endlessly. Interests and activities evolved as our kids grew up. Picking up toys, helping with homework, assisting with church and school programs, driving to and from ball games, encouraging our players and cheerleaders, all made for long days. But those long days became short years. Falling into bed exhausted every night and waking to another day full of commitments made the years fly by. Before we knew it, our nest was empty.
Last week I refused to allow my mind to regret our active lives. Instead I carefully hung a colorful shirt on that precious old hanger and lovingly hung it in my closet. “Thank You, Lord,” I whispered as I tucked the warm feelings of love into my heart.
I thank God for allowing us to have healthy children who lived their lives out loud, being involved in their school and church. I’m grateful for the energy He gave us to keep up with them. I’m blessed that they wanted to give us gifts for special occasions. I thank God for the leaders in their lives who helped them create those gifts for us.
As I use the things our kids made for us, I’ll fondly remember those sweet days of old. I pray my adult children, and all my young mother friends, steal moments here and there throughout their busy lives to appreciate the blessing of their children.