>Adoption: Adjustment and Laundry


** Warning. I’d love for all my posts to be “butterflies and rainbows” as a dear friend says…but during this time, they cannot be if I am to be honest to myself and anyone else. So, sometimes, they are just odd. You all know already this blog is a lot of stream of consciousness drivel. Fair warning.**

My laundry room.

Officially: laundry at “London Terrace Towers”….but a gal can dream….

I never knew I’d be so grateful for laundry.

No kidding.
Occasionally, this thought, this gratitude, has popped into my addled mind…this gratitude for laundry. But really, not so much. I have spent many a moment over my many years resenting the freakishly replenished piles (by which I mean: heaping mounds) of dirty laundry.

But especially of late, coming home and trying to tread water in the tsunami of adjustment involved in this adoption {And, I presume, older child adoption in general}….. I am grateful for laundry.
I am grateful for the normalcy of mountains of laundry needing to be gathered, sorted, washed, swapped, dried, hung, folded and sorted again.

We control freaks love having something that we can control, and that in a nutshell, is the beauty of laundry. I can stand in my little laundry room, folding, and hear the machine’s old familiar churn and the dryer’s whine, and things are normal.
I can sort and fluff and fold and create new clean order again and again.

And I know this might sound like I am hanging on by my fingernails, or failing and slipping and grasping at straws….pathetic….but to be frank, the laundry is, oddly enough, a comfort. Right now, laundry is less a burden than a signpost that life really does go on and returns to the particular habits of my family.

Laundry is a sort of comfort everlasting (in my house, at least). It is constant; a task that can be well done and appreciated (mostly). I can do it with mindless rote motion, or do it and stew or daydream as much as I choose. And, gloriously, I have time alone, for no one wants to join me in the laundry room.
And so it is even peaceful in it’s own noisy way.

I know. This is as mundane as it gets. But that, that very thing, the utter mundanity of it, is exactly what makes me stop and think and smile. Because, we are taught, in my Catholic faith, that even small things, the most mundane routine mind-numbing or unpleasant chores, can have infinite value.

And so, with a smile, and a rueful nod, I can agree. Only once before, during a hospital health scare of my dearest, have I so searingly been aware and grateful for the rote routine of my laundry chores. I said a prayer of thanksgiving for it then, long ago. And now, during this odd uncomfortable time of adjustments, I whisper it again.

I am thankful for laundry: for the clothes to wash, the machines to wash them in, for the chore on every level and the comfort it brings to us all…but right now, especially to me, in those sharp raw and uncertain moments, I am simply grateful for the chore and the routine it implies. And when I don’t know how to manage all this jaggedy new or to move through these big things, or the snaggy small things, if I am gripped with fear or fretting or exhaustion…I can literally stand and quietly do the laundry, and feel like me again, have our family feel normal and not only new. I know these motions, blindfolded, and they remain….and continue even while we find our new normal. It’s comfort. It may well be silly, I know. But for those of you who wonder about this adjustment and how it’s different…this is one unexpected reveal.

The machine churns and slogs along, the dryer whines and turns and turns. And obviously, I am reminded again and again, so must (and will) I.