Laundry is probably the worst part of being a grown-up. Yeah, there are planes to catch and are bills to pay* and all that busyness but once you pay a bill, you don't have to pay it again for a whole month and once you miss a plane, you miss a plane. But laundry. It's just always there.
Our friend Naomi, the one who made this painting and then we never heard from again because she moved to Australia (no really, she literally moved to Australia) always said that the curse of Chava is not what it seems. (She's a rebbetzin, so that would make this is an actual dvar torah that you can use to impress people) You see, the curse of Chava is not the actual labor of having a baby - it's the labor that comes after. Namely, all the laundry that said baby generates. Because if you think about it, laundry never ever ends. It can't. Unless the entire family is walking around totally naked, there are no sheets on any of the beds and all the bathrooms are in a sorry state of towelessness, the laundry will never be finished. Not even after you do five loads in one day, fold it and put it away. Because, lucky you, when everyone comes home, there will once again be a huge pile. And if it's in an actual pile, then you really are lucky. That never happens in my house. I find people in my family by following the trail of clothes.
Our laundry problems are manyfold. And in a very specific order, these are them:
1. the collecting of
2. the getting it downstairs
3. the switching the load
4. the getting it back upstairs
5. the folding of
6. and the putting away of
So you see, we have many many problems and not many many solutions - because if we had those, we wouldn't have the problems. Laundry is like life, it's all cyclical. And for a bonus dvar torah, the gematria of laundry (lamed, nun, daled, reish, yud) which is 294 is equal to the gematria of Azarya (ayin, zayin, reish, yud, hey) which means Hashem helps. Well, it almost equals 294. Azarya actually equals 293, but that's okay cause you can add one for Hashem and you're golden. Because without Hashem's help the laundry would never get done. Deep, I know.
Sometimes the kids try to help. They like to pour detergent when no one asked them to, they enjoy bending the hangers out of shape and they find great joy in throwing dirty unmentionables at each other. So we try to confine their helping to step #5 - folding. And then this is what usually happens.
Sometimes we put them to work picking all the tissue pieces off the clothes that have had the unfortunate happen to them - a cycle in the washer with a pair of sweatpants and pockets full of tissues. Probably dirty ones, otherwise why would they be in the pockets, ya know? So gross. And yet, almost impossible to remedy. So we just throw the whole load into the dryer and hope that the lint-getter-thing gets most of it. And the misbehaving kid has to pick the rest of it off. Nah, that's not really true. But I do make them pick up the tissue pieces off the floor after I make a nice pile of tissue pieces on the couch and someone slams into it and knocks it down. Not cool.
So to end my story on a holy note for my fellow-laundry-doing-holy-sisters, I will throw one more weird gematria out there - the hebrew word for miracle, nes, is equal to 110. Oddly enough, the word for fold, chavak (chet, vet, kuf) is equal to the same number. So yes, getting the laundry folded is indeed a miracle. I'll be honest, I am not at all sure that the word chavak or fold is used when one would actually speak in Hebrew about laundry and its goings-on but that's okay cause I don't really speak Hebrew; I kind of feel like it might mean to fold, as to enfold someone or embrace them, but you know what, a warm sweatshirt straight from the dryer hugs you and makes you feel all warm and good, so fold, embrace, whatever, it's all laundry and I have to go do some.
* Oh come on, it's from Cats in the Cradle. You know you were humming it just now, you just had no idea why.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)