I have an odd ball confession....
I have this ummm, some say weird habit when my kids leave to spend the night elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if they’ll be gone one night, a weekend, or a whole week for summer sleep away camp, I still do this thing. My kids are 16 and 15 and I’ve done this strange ritual for years. Years. My daughter left for a choral retreat and she’ll be gone all weekend. So I’m doing my thing.
I rip off her sheets, wash, dry & put them away then make up her bed with fresh sheets and bedding. Like a hotel room (sort of, but cleaner.) I do the whole “hotel-y” thing....I smooth the comforter edges, I fold down the top sheet just so, I fluff up the pillows and straighten the nightstand and turn on the lamp.
I cannot help myself. It’s a sickness.
It’s an indulgence. A weakness. A throwback to Suzy Homemaker. I don’t know. Whatever. I do it anyway.
There’s something deep inside me that wants to welcome them home in this nurturing way. I
I delight in climbing into fresh sheets on my own bed after I’ve been traveling so I figured they would too. Monkey see.
But there’s a bigger reason I do it. And I’m gonna try not to cry when I write this. Oh, who am I kidding?
Several years ago, our family attended the funeral of a woman we adored. She had two adult children but they literally were beginning their lives — just finishing college and they weren’t married. These kids were finding their way and then suddenly their beautiful mom died. It was tragic and unexpected.
At the funeral, one of the children recounted a story about her mom fussing at her to straighten her room. She told her to clean her room, empty the trash, make her bed and take drink cups back down to the kitchen. Her mom would call her by her full Christian name and say PLEASE clean your room before you leave!! And of course she never did.
But...when she came home, her bed would be fresh, the clothes would be picked up and the cups magically relocated to the dishwasher. This young woman choked up when she remembered that her bed would be turned down and her light would be on and she knew she was loved and missed whether or not she’d cleaned her room.
Now please don’t misunderstand me. Kids should clean their room. I’m not saying that mine never clean because they absolutely do. And I’m not suggesting they shouldn’t wash their own sheets and make up their own bed because they have to learn this basic life skill before they’re launched into the world ....but c’mon....welcoming them home?....a clean, fresh bed to crash into?....a comfortable place to land?....a knowing that they are loved and missed?
Sign me up. All day long.