I'm doing laundry today.
What's significant about the laundry I am doing today is that it's my oldest charges’ laundry. Since he graduates from High School tonight, and I don’t work in the summer, this is probably the last time I will be doing it.
Yippee! We all hate to do laundry right?
Except that as I load his laundry in the washing machine one last time
I think about 18 years of laundry.
When he was little I did his laundry twice a week. I loved to fold those tiny little sleepers and cute little socks, warm from the dryer and comforting to touch on a cold winter day. I folded laundry when he napped and carried it upstairs in the bright blue laundry basket to be put away when he woke up.
It was always a little sad for me when he outgrew one of my favorite outfits and but it was so much fun to watch him grow.
I love wrapping a baby up in a nice clean hooded towel fresh out of the bath and just holding them and taking in that clean baby smell.
This is when I notice how much they have grown because those towels seem to shrink. In the beginning you can wrap them entirely in that towel and cover their tiny little body and then suddenly one day, their toes are peeking out the ends. And so it goes. Babies grow up and they outgrow their hooded baby towels and their sleepers and their tiny little socks. The loads of laundry multiply and the size of the load gets bigger with their clothes and you need a larger space for folding.
They get a little older and their pockets have to be checked for Hot Wheels and rocks or treasures found in the yard. They don't need you for their baths and those little baby towels are long gone.
Hooded baby towels and tiny sleepers are replaced by basketball jerseys and baseball uniforms and you wonder where the time goes.
How did 18 years of laundry go by so fast? How did that boy grow up to be so wise and so strong in spirit and so brave?
All I know is that I've never been blessed with children of my own, but I have been given the honor and the privilege to love and care for someone else's child as if he was my own. A lot of people have a hard time understanding the role a nanny plays in the life of a child, but I have always worked for parents who love and value their children and strive to raise them to have morals and values and hopes and dreams.
Today as I type through my tears, my heart is full of gratitude to my employers who gave me this privilege to be a part of his childhood and to this young man who changed my life.
We were a great parenting team and over the last 18 years we gave him strong "Roots"
To everything there is a season and now it’s time to give him his “Wings”