A Phoenix Burning

Lessons

So, I’ve been without a dryer for two weeks now which prompted a trip to the laundromat for the first time in years.  I didn’t realize I was raising a snob until I announced said trip to my nearly 12 year old daughter on Saturday.  “I’m NOT going to be seen in a LAUNDROMAT!”  I believe my head swung around three times and my eyes burned a fiery red. 

You see, I came from the WORST part of town…When the locals talk about “The John Streeters” with contempt in their voice, I am quick to say, “Be careful what you say…I grew up on John Street.”  That revelation is always met with shock and sputtering apologies.  We may not have had the beautiful house, but we had all the things that were important—that apartment was always overflowing with love, family and friends.  When I was 13, my parents built their dream house, so the rest of my growing up years were spent living in a bit more luxury, but I never took for granted the “nicer” things, and I don’t think I ever lost my connection to my roots. 

In contrast, my children have only known comfort.  Are they “spoiled?”  Apparently yes.   And I’ve always said that I don’t mind them being a bit spoiled as long as they don’t act like it.  Well….guess what?  That plan seems to have backfired a bit.  Now, to be clear, they don’t get everything they want, but they want for nothing.  My daughter’s snobby reaction to the laundromat embarrassed me to the point of mortification.  Made me want to sell all our possessions (except for that brand new washer and dryer that will be delivered on May 22nd…*ahem*) and move to a little house on the prairie. 

Needless to say, I dragged that girl to the laundromat.  She carried clothes, and loaded and unloaded dryers, and she folded and stacked.  And she got a lecture (or two or three) on empathy and snobbiness.  And I was sure to remind her that this comfortable life we lead could disappear in the blink of an eye…she needs survival skills.  And she listened to stories of Zan and my early years, when we lived in a teeny basement apartment and spent every other Sunday at the laundromat, drinking milkshakes, reading books, and holding hands.  Those were some of our best memories. 

Did the message sink in?  We’ll see.  She did come out of there offering to start taking care of her own laundry.  I just might take her up on that.

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One response

  1. karma

    Good for you taking the opportunity for a lesson. I try to grab those moments whenever I can. And definitely take her up on the laundry thing. Putting my girls in charge of their own laundry took a “load” (ha, pun intended!) off my mind as one less thing to worry about!

    May 4, 2009 at 8:27 pm

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