Doing laundry for my loved ones is one of the many things I took for granted before Tavi passed away.
Vickie and I haven't done our own laundry for several years (I know—spoiled). We've been taking our laundry to Fluff & Fold (thank you, NY, for teaching us of this amazing service), because we have been so busy, and it has been a major time and relationship saver.
Especially in the past ten months, Fluff & Fold has been a blessing. With every brown paper package we've received has come a deep breath, a sense of relief. Fresh-smelling folded and laundered clothing is like a big hug from the universe. These "bundles of joy" have cradled and rocked us, and our rocked systems.
But lately, I've been longing to do laundry for my family, in our new home.
When you have a baby, you get to do their laundry. I say "get to" because it is a gift. Washing, sorting and lovingly going through their little garments, fluffy socks, and soft cotton throws, means they are alive and doing well, even if they have a poop blowout up the back. We never got to do our sweet girl's laundry.
When Tavi passed away, it was a heartbreaking task to put away many of the cute outfits she had received as gifts. While she was still in the womb, she had received several full-sized newborn outfits, and then when she was born prematurely at 25 weeks, she began receiving little NICU outfits.
We will never wash her NICU clothes. The scent on those clothes is far too precious. We folded them up in plastic bags to preserve her special "Tavi aroma," an intoxicating smell of her baby self, combined with a faintly medical smell of antibacterial gel plus a soft laundry detergent scent. The other newborn clothes are stored away in a plastic bin full of memories of her short but impactful life.
Even though we moved into our Healing House in September, we have been living without a washer/dryer ever since. Our new home didn't come with a washer and dryer. We have a very shallow closet for washer and dryer, and we were just not okay with having the washer and dryer jut out into the hallway. If the w/d are jutting out into the hallway, then there would be no neat way to close this area off from houseguests. If you're anything like us, laundry is a major hurdle, so we didn't want our mess to be visible.
As my mom would say in Spanish, "La ropa sucia se lava en casa," which translates to "Dirty laundry is washed at home," but maybe it's time to air our dirty laundry?
As we are starting to think about moving forward with our goal of being active mommies to a physical baby, I finally convinced Vickie to let me buy a new washer and dryer. Somehow it makes me feel like I've gotten better, and can take more on. I can do Vickie's and Mom's laundry. I can do my laundry. And I hope someday soon I can do the laundry for our second little one, whose clothes we will gratefully wash for many years to come.