Of all the chores I do on a weekly basis the laundry is most certainly my least favourite. It's the first of my list of chores I like to start with so I can simply get it out of the way on my weekends. Now that mom is getting older and slowing down I've been taking care of her washing as well as my own. Mom made me learn how to do the laundry from a very young age. It was part of my responsibilities growing up in a family of eight. When I went off to university I had to only worry about my own set of clothes. But now being at home and helping mom out I've once again resumed my household chores to include her clothes. After helping with the laundry for eight people doing it for two is a definitely a breeze.
Today as I started to fold her sheets mom looked from over the kitchen window and asked if she could help me? My response these days is "Don't worry mom I can do it" because I know folding clothes is challenging for her given her various ailments. Only today after pondering about it briefly I decided to say 'yes.' . So I waited patiently as she made her way over to me with her walker. As we started to fold the sheets together I realized I was saying 'yes' to more then just her help.
Mom is really slowing down these days. It seems like everything is an effort for her and I can see how frustrated she gets at times. Though I try and help her out I do wrestle with how much to help as I want her to feel she still has independence. I knew that I could easily have folded the sheets on my own. But by allowing her to help me I realize how much more I was doing for her. I saw this from her perspective. Perhaps she wanted to help me? Perhaps she wanted to feel like she can still contribute? Perhaps she wanted to feel needed? Perhaps this was a way in which she could still be a mom towards me?
But more so then that by doing this task together it created a space to feel connected to her. I was able to share a breath with her. It was an opportunity for us to share a moment. Though it was just folding laundry it was nonetheless a special moment. I embraced the whole experience and decided to be present for her and myself. What was once a mundane task turned into something far greater then I could have ever imagined. I felt gratitude for being given this chance to spend with mom. I realized I was saying 'yes' to the gift of the joy that mom was bringing into my life. Mom's 85 now and so every moment we have, each day, each breath is special to me. Even folding laundry with her is not something to be taken for granted but an opportunity to deepen our connection.
I'll never look at doing the laundry the same way again. In fact I'm already looking forward to next weekend for another chance to fold sheets again with mom.
Angel Blessings to ALL