Although it doesn’t happen as often as it used to, the kids still fight over who gets to hang out with me. In this case, “hanging out” means doing a simple chore together: putting laundry on the clothesline. Nothing special about this, you say, but to me, it represents a couple of things:
First off, kids who fight to do a household chore—how cool is that? While we require the kids to do only very simple chores in our household, hanging laundry isn’t one of them, primarily because I think of it as a rather boring, repetitive task. But these kids love it. They take turns over who gets to hand over or put away clothespegs, and who gets to pull the clothes off the line. When the squeak of the pulley sounds, you can hear the running of eager feet and two little voices: “Can I help, Mama?” You’d think I was making ice cream or something.
Secondly, they both (although more so the Girl) seem interested in learning something while on the job. At a time when so few adults are still drying clothes on a line, here are two kids who are intrigued by the small tips and tricks (yes, there are tricks!) to this old-fashioned chore. So while we do our work and chat lightheartedly about our day, they’re also learning a simple, useful skill. I’ve no doubt that if necessary, my Girl could take over the task tomorrow. (The only reason she doesn’t do so now is because I love the moments of quiet and the sense of doing something wonderful, that I save the task for myself.)
I’m lucky to have a couple of kids who enjoy putting aside their various diversions for a few minutes, to hang out with dear old mom and enjoy a moment of simplicity in their hectic day.