I was putting laundry on the line this morning and Emily came out the back door. She looked at what I was doing and said, “Making a rainbow again, mom?”
Yes, I admit it. I arrange my laundry in pretty patterns as I put it out to dry. Sometimes it is by length, longest to shortest, with pants at the far end and socks close to the house. Sometimes it is by item, with all the pants together, then the shorts, then the shirts. And sometimes, like today, I put them in order of colour. I began with dark red, then pink, orange, yellow, green and blue.
My husband thinks this is ridiculous. Why bother? he says. It’s a waste of time. Nobody cares. Passersby can barely even see the laundry hanging on the line, and even if they look at it they won’t notice something like how the clothes are organized.
The thing is, I notice. I love looking outside and seeing a pretty pattern, or a tidy row. It is beautiful to me. It may be only a small thing, but enjoy it. And that is enough of a reason to spend just a few extra seconds selecting the next shirt or sock to hang on the line.
Part of why my laundry can be so beautiful has nothing to do with how much time I spend hanging it or how organized I am about it. I have children, and we have the resources to buy them nice clothes. My little ones delight in wearing pinks and oranges, blues and greens. They go from small to tall. They have rich, full lives in which they wear a huge variety of clothes to church, swimming lessons, music performances, and soccer games. If our laundry line had nothing but my clothes and those of my husband, there would be little more than grey, white, and black, and all of them about the same size. How dull.
When I take the time to sort my laundry and hang it out in a pattern, it reminds me that my children are gifts to be treasured. And at a moment when I am tempted to be resentful rather than grateful–four children produce an awful lot of laundry, after all–this is welcome. So my husband may still think it’s weird, but if I can add a little bit of beauty and a little bit of gratitude to my day, I still say it’s a good idea.