Just four years and nine months ago I sat on my knees, folding tiny socks and hand me down burp rags when my father walked in and asked me what was keeping me so deep in thought. I told him that someday, I’ll be angry about having to fold all of these socks. I won’t look at a floor carpeted with stuffed animals and toys as a blessing, but as something else I’ll have to deal with, like the rest of life’s chores.
And I said it lovingly. I told my father I looked forward to those days and that I hoped I would remember that moment, the one where I lovingly paired socks and organized onesies while pondering my future.
I dimmed the light in my daughter’s nursery. The nursery that was actually a closet that came with the room I rented. I placed the folded socks and burp rags in their place. I checked the tiny clothes air drying on minature hangers to make sure they weren’t dripping over cherished toys that made it from my childhood into hers and gazed at my sleeping baby girl hoping I’d remember how happy I was in that moment. I was happy to have nothing really more than ourselves, our clothes and the means to wash them (even if it was by hand in a bathtub) and a warm, safe place to sleep.
Fast forward more than four years. There must have been at least 6 times today I begged, pleaded and screamed at my child that if she had intentions of killing me via a deadly trip over a Leappad, she ought to think twice because, even headlong down the stairs I still had eyes and ears in the back of my sure to be safety helmeted head and “damn it, I’m not a maid!”
So after bath and books and bed, I happily poured myself a glass of wine, anxiously looking forward to what I might have DVR’d for a little rest and relaxation when I was stopped by the most atrocious sight - a wadded up tiny pink sock, hiding behind the table leg in my formal dining room. And as I crawled under the table on my hands and knees, I grabbed that cotton bane of my existence and like an old black and white Twilight Zone, I felt a tornado whirl around me and I was no longer in the four bedroom home I’d worked hard to call my own, but I was in that tiny closet again. With my daughter sleeping just inches from my own bed. I knelt over myself…the self that lovingly folded socks and onesies and looked forward to everything I didn’t know I’d have one day and smiled. I smiled at my self.
How fast time flies. If I knew then, and I think I did…I wouldn’t have had it any other way.