“Mom, what are you doing?”
This is what my son asked me yesterday when he walked into the kitchen and caught me (literally) sitting in a laundry basket full of clean clothes and singing along to Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita."
What, you ask, was I doing sitting in a clothes basket?
To be honest, I was tired. I walked in there to fold them and kind of lapsed into a mental coma. I was wired to my iPod and ready to get busy, but between my improv karaoke session and a very intimidating pile of socks and underpants, I lost my mojo.
“I’m meditating, dear. Trying to find my center. Harness my chi. Go back to your homework.” I said.
“What’s meditating? I didn’t even know we had a Chia Pet? What center have you lost? Do you need help finding it?” he asked, looking inquisitive and a little frightened.
“Well, most people don’t meditate in a clothes basket, but I do. Meditating is a way of trying to take your mind off of all the stress in your life. And your center is where you store the stress while you’re meditating,” I said. I didn’t even know what I was talking about. How could I expect my poor, confused child to follow my flawed logic? If he’d asked about harnessing my chi, I fear my wonky explanation would have caused the need for counseling sessions later on in his life.
“You look kind of dumb. I hope you’re able to find your meditating Chia Pet. Probably you should water the center of it, and then it might come out.”
“You’re right. Why didn’t I think of that?” I said, thinking maybe if I agreed with the idea, further discussion wouldn’t be necessary.
It did stop the Q & A, but gave rise to a whole other issue.
“Maybe if you’re so tired, you shouldn’t sit in the clothes basket. You might get hurt and then the clothes would never get folded.”
“Well, you’re right. Come over here and help me out of this thing.” I said, already starting the fight upwards.
He walked over, took my hand and pulled. Nothing happened.
“You’re not pulling hard enough, son. You pull, and I’ll pull at the same time.” I said, getting a little irritated.
With all my effort I kind of scooted by rear end forward, hoping the momentum combined with his tugs would get me out.
This time, I managed to get on all fours, but with one small problem. The basket was still attached to my bottom half. I have no doubt that if a video camera had been anywhere near me at that moment, you’d be looking at the next YouTube viral video star.
My, oh, my, what a glamorous life I lead.
“Okay, now, we’re going to need to get this off. Honey, stop laughing. This isn‘t funny, you know. If this basket doesn‘t come off, you‘re going to school tomorrow with last week‘s spaghetti stain on your shorts.” I said.
My son, the big help that he is, had to spend the next five minutes getting his hysterical cackles under control. Meanwhile, I was losing feeling in my posterior sections.
Even I will admit that, more likely then not, I did look pretty stupid.
With one quick yank of the cursed basket, off it came. I probably don’t need to tell you that this was quite the relief. I’m no style guru, but I’m guessing laundry recepticles are not the greatest of fashion statements.
Believe it or not, my story does have a point.
It seems to me that almost everyone I know is going through something. There is cancer, car accidents and just about anything else you can imagine plaguing families all over. Everyone is under strain and its not making it easy to find our Chia Pets.
My clothes basket incident reminded me that my life is not made up of bad experiences. There are plenty of them, but they’re not the main component of my life’s fabric. If anything, they’re speed bumps on a road to better things, lessons learned and sometimes, they’re a good kick in the pants when I need one.
To all of you going through something less then ideal, look at the big picture. The rose always looks better with all of its petals.
Until next week, remember: If you at all value your circulatory system, refrain from sitting on any buckets, baskets or Rubbermaid items.
Mandi Hayes-Spencer is a columnist for The Greenup County Beacon and author of the upcoming series The Crantz Chronicles. She lives in Flatwoods, Kentucky with her husband and son.