mommy’s helpers

Next day Laura helped to wash all the quilts and blankets. She was glad to lug the loaded basket out to the clothesline in the sweet, chilly March weather.
-Laura Ingalls Wilder in By the Shores of Silver Lake

Mommy's best helper

Then the carpets were hung on clotheslines outdoors, and he had to beat them with a long stick. When he was little he had run under the carpets, playing they were tents.  But now he was nine years old, he had to beat those carpets without stopping, till no more dust would come out of them.
-Laura Ingalls Wilder in Farmer Boy

Mary ridin' in the laundry basket with Aunt MargieIt may be true that “many hands make light work” but little hands in the laundry make for dark socks in the light loads and clothespins scattered everywhere.

It’s so much easier just to do it myself.  And too often, I get impatient with the clothespins that don’t get picked up and the still-wet clothes that get yanked off the line.  But I’m learning to slow down and let my little ones help with the laundry where they can.  Not just so that they’ll know how to do it by themselves when they get bigger.  Not just because it gets us all outside in the fresh air and sunshine.  But because we’re all happier when we’re doing it together.  Even if one is on my back and the other two are begging for lunch.

my constant compaion during last summer's laundry

[Read more...]

10 Things My Relevant Roomies Know About Me Now

Roomies: Gretchen, Daniel, Seth, Trina, and DianeI had the best of roommates at Relevant.  They put up with a lot—most especially a little guy who never wanted to leave his Mommy’s arms, overstimulated and exhausted as he was.

I’d already warned them about the 10 things they should know about me.  But now they know all the things I forgot to tell them.  So here’s to the best roomies ever—Trina and Diane—and to many more conferences where we can live and laugh and cry “life unmasked” together.

10 Things Gretchen’s Relevant Roomies Know About Her Now:
  1. Gretchen holds to the Girl Scout motto of being always prepared.  Which means she will over-pack.  And she won’t think she needs anything at Target—at least not the first time she goes.
  2. Just because she has every single possible outfit combination for hot, cold, or spit-up-upon, doesn’t mean she won’t still be easily convinced to wear Trina’s shirt instead of her own for the opening night.  (She relies on the fashion advice of her Tiny-Twig-following roomie since she herself is fashion-challenged.) [Read more...]