One of the good things about having the laundry on the second floor is that it gives a drive-by proximity to the kids’ bedrooms. I can casually check in. Ask questions and just maybe get a real answer. Sing loudly, terribly, to get a rise out of them.
While I rush through t-shirts and ripped jeans, thinking about where I left off writing and hoping I can pick up, random gems come from their rooms. The 5-year-old talking to the fish. The 9-year-old reading his Valentines aloud. This morning I overheard the 7-year-old singing “We Shall Overcome” in a soft operatic Ethel Merman.
This afternoon I was folding alongside the 14-year-old’s door. He always goes right to homework after school, but had seemed a little more reclusive than usual. “Hey in there. You solve world peace yet? Cure cancer?”
“Almost,” he said. “I’m on it.”
I didn’t go in, as much as I wanted to, and ask what was up, who he was texting, what he was thinking about trying out for spring baseball. We just exchanged one-liners through the dryer wall.
Next house we buy, second floor laundry is my top priority.