Today, my middle son turns 20 years old. Quiet and understated by nature, Sammy asked for a ‘low-key’ celebration, and I adhered to his request. Brunch, no cake, no big presents. Itching to do something, anything, to express my love for him, I resorted to an activity that almost always brings me comfort and joy.
I folded his laundry.
I picked up each piece of clothing, buried my face in the warm items just pulled from the dryer, and breathed in the smell. I methodically folded, smoothed and stacked my way through three loads of laundry, waiting for that feeling of connection, that soothing feeling of doing something motherly.
Instead of feeling peaceful, though, I felt wistful. It wasn’t until I stepped back from the neat piles that I realized why: the majority of his clothes were unfamiliar to me.
Nostalgia settled in, and I craved the days when I knew each shirt, each pair of pants, each mis-matched sock. The dull sting of reality…he’s growing up. He is his own person, and has been for quite some time. There’s still space for me in his world, it’s just changing. In many ways, I’m not surprised that it took folding his clothes for me to fully grasp the passage of time. I needed to experience something that used to be familiar to recognize the inevitable shift in our relationship.
Sammy – Happy Happy Birthday.
May you continue to explore and appreciate all life has to offer.
May your year be filled with good health, happiness, and many adventures.
May your carefully folded clothes eventually make their way out of the laundry basket and to someplace other than the floor.
May you always be safe.
Finally, may you always respond to your mother’s texts. Really.
Grateful for you…