February 17, 2014

One of these things is not like the others

The snow was too heavy for the kids to shovel and the wind was whipping sizeable chunks of ice through the air, so I left the little people inside with the admonition that anyone who demonstrated that he couldn’t get along with his siblings would be brought outside to shovel with me. I’m going to need to make a note of that one, because no one came to the door in her socks to tell me her brother was being mean, and if they were screaming at one another they were careful to do it quietly enough that it didn’t carry through the brick walls.

By the time I came in, it was almost dinnertime, but I was wet and sore and hadn’t cleaned the lunchboxes. Then I had to pull out the kids’ clothes because we were leaving for vacation the next day. I tossed a pile of Lilah’s clothes on my bed and another of Benjamin’s.

“Zach,” I called, while turning on the burner under some water. “Pull out your clothes for Vermont. You need thermals, pajamas, jeans, turtlenecks, one pair of socks because you’ll mostly wear ski socks, and a regular long-sleeved shirt.” He’s nine—the time has come for him to get his own clothing out while I do the 97 other things that need doing around the house.

“Done!” he told me five minutes later.

“Hold on. Let me check you got it all.” I headed up the stairs into my room, where indeed there was a pile containing thermals, pajamas, jeans, turtlenecks, a long-sleeved shirt, and one pair of socks on the bed. Folded.

He’d folded the clothes. There is not a single drawer in my house that contains folded clothes. Well, it’s possible my husband folds his undershirts. Yet, for some reason—and despite the fact that the rest of the clothes on my bed were tossed in organized mounds—he had folded his clothes. I don’t even know how he knows that clothes are traditionally stored in that manner.

Next time, he’s in charge of packing my stuff, too.

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  • Reply Catherine February 18, 2014 at 2:10 am

    THIS is a truly beautiful story.

  • Reply Leah February 18, 2014 at 10:47 pm

    This story gives me HOPE!

  • Reply Cheryl at Busy Since Birth February 20, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    Emily, leaving you a comment here, just in case my comment doesn’t make it through on Motherlode. I’m from your town, also have kids born in ’04 and ’08. Your piece on Motherlode was lovely, albeit heartbreaking. I hope you’ll check out my blog and perhaps we can connect some time.

  • Reply Poker Chick February 21, 2014 at 2:31 am

    That is just fucking awesome.

  • Reply Wendy February 23, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Don’t you love when our kids surprise us? It gives us another reason to respect them and feel grateful that they haven’t picked up all of our own bad habits.

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