In My Dreams

I have a few weeks between semesters, so I have been power washing the house, cleaning windows, waterproofing the deck, scrubbing tile, and so on and so forth. About 2:00 yesterday afternoon, I collapsed on the sofa for a nap before tackling my laundry room.

Now and then, I roused for a moment or two as Elder paced through the house, a video playing on his cell phone, as usual. But at one point I blinked awake and realized he was listening to a math lecture.

He is on summer break.

And he was watching math.

Unless I was dreaming.

Except it was math.

So, you know, that would have been a scary, scary nightmare.


Mom Knows Best

Today, Elder had a job interview.

Before leaving, he walked into my bedroom dressed in his new shirt and slacks. “Look okay?” he asked.

“You need to tuck in your shirt,” I told him.

“I think it looks better out.”

“But you need to tuck it in. They will expect you to tuck in your shirt. It looks better.”

“I think it looks better out.”

“You need to tuck it in. I’ve been in the store. All the employees wear their shirts tucked in.”

“I think it looks better out. How often do you go into the store?”

“All the time. And when you walk in there, you will see the employees in their red shirts, with the store name on their chest, and their shirts tucked in.”

“I think it looks better out.”

“Elder, they made you tuck in your baseball jersey. Why did anyone care that someone might see your pockets? It was for presentation. You need to tuck in your shirt.”

“I didn’t mind in baseball.”

I miss the days when he just agreed with me because I was Mom, because Mom was a pretty smart lady.

I lost those days about eighteen years ago.

When he was two.

He did tuck in his shirt.

“Right before I go in the store,” he compromised.

So, that’s a win.


And I count every single win.

I’m up to one, now.

The Giver of Joy

Today, I called Younger with a chore for him to complete on his first full day free of school.


Although he’s helped with the chore occasionally, he’s not at all adept, especially since we recently bought a new washing machine. So, he placed me on speaker phone while I talked him through all the necessary maneuverings.

First, I had him move the sheets in the washing machine to the dryer, reminding him to untwist the inevitable knots. He faithfully followed my instructions.

Then I had him clean the lint from the vent.

“Wow,” he murmured, his voice a little patchy over the cell phone connection. “I pulled it off all in one piece. Now, that’s something. I’m proud of myself.”

You know, after a couple decades and several tons of laundry, I have lost the pure, unadulterated delight of cleaning a dryer vent. My heart was touched by his innocent pleasure in such a routine act.

So touched in fact that I think I will bless him with the opportunity for such joy every chance I get this summer.