Monday, April 12, 2010

this woman’s work

It's Saturday night. The kids are abed. The house is quiet.

I brew a cup of tea. Turn on some mellow music. Light a candle for ambiance.

And then I iron my way through a wrinkly pile of John's shirts.

This isn't exactly a dance party [I can't dance] or even a romantic evening [John is not home tonight]. I usually hate the tedium and time consumed by ironing. But tonight, oddly, I'm enjoying myself. The quiet calm. The repetitive motion. The steam, my breath, the space to think.

I know week's end will pile these same shirts in front of me again. And I know this isn't a very post feminism thing to do – I mean, John can pick up an iron too, can't he?

Hissing through creases, I imagine that I'm searing something of myself into each fiber. Something he will wear across his back, down his arms, and pressed against his chest – close to his heart, over his soul.

But I don't have to imagine that he notices.

That's the thing about this life. I'm home, doing a lot of traditional woman's work. Enjoying it some days, running from it -- shrieking at it -- other days. But never [okay, sometimes, but only for a minute] weighted down. Four hands dig deep into the muck of this life. Four hands raise these children. And whatever  two hands do alone is held up -- honored.