“This I Believe”

Written for my senior capstone course.

I believe in doing laundry with my people.

Growing up, I would often sit and talk with Mom as she folded our laundry. I would help fold Dad’s handkerchiefs, fold basketball shorts, and put away towels. This was a common reoccurrence. Throughout this past summer, I sat on the living room floor of a dear friend who is the mom of a family with four kids. We would sit and talk together as we folded shirts, shorts, and socks, and then separate them into six piles. I spent enough time with them that I typically knew whose was whose without having to ask her. One morning recently I sat on the floor with a dear friend as we folded her clothes before her morning shift at Vanderbilt. Earlier this semester found me sitting in a Belmont laundry room having a life chat with a friend who was switching out loads. I have now done laundry enough times with another close friend that I know where everything goes and how she likes to fold her clothes.

Doing laundry may seem like a mundane, unimportant task. But it is something that everyone has to do. And when I fold laundry with my people, I’m not just folding their t-shirts. I’m living life with them. Doing life with the important people you care about is not just having lunch with them. It’s going to their award ceremonies, visiting them in the hospital, taking them Chickfila fries, and sitting in their class to hear their presentations. It’s buying them coffee, taking them to the airport or to pick up their car, going out to dinner with their family, and taking naps at their house. It’s buying groceries with them, having dance parties at 1 am, live texting them during weird situations, and having your own toothbrush at their house. It’s pet-sitting their fish, going on a 3.5 mile walk after class, crying with them because life is hard, and sitting with them on their couch after a break-up. It’s texting them pictures of hedgehogs cheering them on before a big test, giving them back massages, drinking hot tea, and going to basketball games.

Sitting on the floor folding laundry together may seem insignificant, but it represents something that is huge – living life with your people in the small moments and the big moments.

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