I can't say I ever thought I'd reach a point in life where I would feel an intense desire to do laundry. But friends, I'm there. A deep-seated longing habitually resides within the pit of my stomach, the back of my mind, the trenches of my heart, and its cry is a desperate one.
"Please let me wash our clothes."
As the piles build next to my bed, in the children's baskets, spilling onto the floor in three, four, five rooms, I lie awake at night in a panic that I will never experience the beauty of empty space again.
When my brain finally experiences relief and begins to allow sleep to drift in, I am unpleasantly awoken by the sound of the baby next door. He wants milk. Again. Just like he did three hours ago. And six hours ago. And nine hours ago. (I could do this counting backwards in three hour increments all the way to October.)
Oh why won't he sleep?!?!
As I make my way to bring him relief, I trip over mounds of clothes and know for sure that this feeding will be followed by at least an hour of lying awake, dreaming about laundry. And thus is the mind of a mama of three little ones when her house is undergoing a renovation.
A renovation in which the washer and dryer have a useless, but permanent position in the middle of the kitchen. A renovation that scatters nails and wood chips on the baby's stomping, I mean crawling ground making this newest stage of development one of even greater vigilance. A renovation that has been planned since last August, that is small in size, but complicated in scope. A seemingly endless renovation.
Or at least I had myself convinced of that until the hot water heater went out.
And the dishwasher stopped working.
And the coffee pot broke.
And the baby started moving, and yet still doesn't sleep all night.
On days when I'm not dreaming about doing laundry, I'll picture a life in which I brightly wake up from eight uninterrupted hours of slumber, drink a steaming cup of coffee in a clean mug, take a deliciously warm shower, and dress myself in something fresh. All my children are scrubbed clean as well, contentedly playing with this or that. Ford is smiling, making his rounds throughout the house, knowing exactly which small items are safe to put in his mouth and which to avoid. It's not 100 degrees outside, and so we progress to the back yard. It's sunny, but breezy. No one is sweating their brains out the second they open the door. No need to stay inside where the construction is occurring.
Except that in reality it's the hottest outside.
So this is where we are today. Record high temperatures. Renovation. Broken or unavailable appliances. A moving, but not sleeping baby. And a group of people, clothes, and dishes that are progressively getting dirtier and dirtier.
I'm sorry, but have I mentioned we're supposed to be potty training this month? Yes, the plan was to let the late-bloomer (who must be trained by the fall for school) run wild in his birthday suit outside all summer, but well, have I mentioned the heat?
We're putting on a pretty good face, but things are kind of tense here these days. I suppose I shouldn't be overly surprised when I find myself reaching for an adult beverage to accompany my mid-day meal or when I have a strong desire to nap all afternoon.
After church and a take-out lunch on Father's Day, I happily chirped to Mark, "Only six more hours." He gave me a confused, humorous look and said, "Until what?!?" And I realized I was counting down the hours to bedtime.
So much for a relaxing family summer.
But we're gonna be fine. We received a hand-me-down coffee pot. A serviceman jumped the dishwasher (thought hasn't fully fixed it yet.) Who needs hot water in the summer anyway (me)?
I should just stop.
I want to paint a rosy #firstworldproblems picture of contentment in the conclusion, but the truth is I've been up since four, not sleeping, thinking about how grimy everything feels. And realizing that the goal of this post was not to conclude, but to capture a moment in our little family's life.
The summer of the mudroom / half-bath renovation.
The summer everything broke.
The summer we were all dirty, all the time, so no one wore clothes, ever.
The summer it was too hot to go outside, so it's not that big of deal that no one bathed.
The summer Ford was a baby ... and acted like a baby.
The summer of 2015.
The summer I longed to do laundry.
Lesson Learned: I've been told to savor these times. I'll be my best!