A Chore I Don’t Mind

by Alison Friedman in Mommy's Musings, Pregnancy

Dear Baby Girl,
On Sunday, I did your first load of laundry. I normally really don’t like doing laundry. Actually, that’s not true. There’s something really fun about sorting all the clothes and towels and underwear, but the act of carrying it up and down the stairs and dealing with the machines in the hot garage is not fun. Oh, and don’t get me started on putting it away! But, it’s always worth it to have an empty basket and fresh clothes to wear. But I digress. Get used to it. Mommy does that a lot.

Anyway, I did your first load of laundry and I enjoyed it. I loved it. Your clothes and blankets from all the people that already love you were so perfect and pristine, but needed to be washed so they’d be soft and snuggly for your delicate skin. I gathered up all your newborn clothes, blankets, socks, and burp cloths and brought them down for their very first trip to the washing machine. I filled up the machine with water, poured in my first encounter of Dreft and got a lovely whiff of its powdery and gentle fragrance, and inspected each item as I dropped it into the water. Little onesie. Tiny sock. Bright burp cloth. After the whole load went into the machine, I asked the laundry gods to be nice to each of your garments and keep them safe in the cool, gentle cycle.

About an hour later, I came back to put your first load of laundry in the dryer. One by one, I pulled out each damp item, inspected it to make sure it survived its first swirl of laundering, and then placed then in the drying machine. Normally, with my own clothes, I barely look at them and toss them in crossing my fingers that the old t-shirt or towel actually makes it inside the dryer. But with your things, I care more. Your things can’t touch the garage floor. Your things can’t be tangled up. Your things must have a safe arrival as they start the next leg of their journey to being worn by you.

By the time it was time to take your clothes out of the dryer, I was really tired and Daddy came to pick them up, fill the basket, and bring it upstairs. We sat in your room together as we stared at how tiny all your things are. It was a relief to know that nothing shrank horribly and no colors bled disastrously. We stared into a basket of your clothes that had never met your body, but are now ready to dress you.

I sorted each item and thought about all the other clothes you’ll have that I’ll get to launder and sort. Your baby naming dress at the temple. Your first dance leotard. Your first first-day-of-school outfit. Your first school play costume. Your first uniform for a sport or organization. Your first school dance outfit. Your first class t-shirt. Your first first-date ensemble. Your first prom dress. Your first college sweatshirt. Your wedding gown.

And I know laundry won’t always be fun. You’re going to poop and spit up and get pureed carrots all over your adorable things. At school, you’ll lose your sweatshirt on the playground or trade jackets with a friend that will result in two pissed off moms. When you’re a teenager, you’re going to leave your clothes all over the floor and not put them away, and we’ll probably have a few fights about it. But still, even with these not-so-fun laundry experiences, the act of washing your clothes now, preparing for the person we’ll soon be meeting, and dressing you in all of your cute outfits, I’m more than excited for your poops and trades and fights.

So, little girl, soon you will be making your arrival into the world in your birthday suit, but you have a closet and chest of drawers that will welcome you home and provide you with many memorable moments. And as an adult, you’ll look back on your baby pictures and revisit those token moments in a special outfit like Osh Kosh overalls or a Dodgers onesie. And I will have washed them with love and anticipation of seeing you in them.


  1. 7/12/2011 5:41 PM

    Totally made me cry. And I just did my munchkin’s laundry last night…perfect timing!

  2. Aunt Pattie
    7/12/2011 4:22 PM

    Laundry has NEVER made me cry…. Until now!