“If we can’t alter the tide of events, at least we can be nearby with towels to mop up.” ~ Peter David, Q-in-Law
This morning I woke to the wonderful sound of birds chirping outside my window just as the sky began to turn pink with dawn. Lying in bed, contemplating the day ahead of me, I decided to get a jump on everything and shower before the kids got up and the demands of motherhood claimed my time.
Excited to be starting my day showered and dressed, I jumped out of bed and quietly closed the bathroom doors behind me. Turning the shower faucet to HOT, I dropped my night-clothes on the floor and slipped into the shower too anxious to wait for it to fill with steam.
It was glorious having those few moments to myself, hot water spraying my face, steam chasing the night’s chill from my bones, and no worry of someone knocking on the door wondering how much longer I was going to be. For 15 minutes I enjoyed the luxuries that peace and quiet can only give.
Realizing that if I wanted to enjoy my first cup of coffee without interruption I’d better get moving, I shut off the water and turned to face the bathroom beyond the shower door. Standing there, water dripping from me I took in the bathroom for the first time that morning. Having been consumed with the thrill of an early morning shower, I hadn’t taken the time to do so before. Staring at the bare towel rack I suddenly remembered cleaning out all the towels last night and putting them in the laundry room so I could wash them bright and early today. No worries. I would just hop over to the vanity and grab a fresh one from under there.
A towel bar with no towels — there ought to be a law!
Pushing the shower door open, I gingerly stepped on my discarded night-clothes that I’d conveniently left in front of the shower (yes, I’d removed the bath mat for washing as well), dripping water all over them. Then, stepping on the rug in front of the vanity I opened the cabinet door and…
EMPTY! How could this be? Wait…I remember now, last night I struggled to get the laundry downstairs because all of the clothes baskets were full of folded laundry out in the hallway, waiting to be put away. They’d been there for at least a week. I really hate putting laundry away and ALWAYS wait until the last possible moment.
No problem, I thought, turning to the hook on the back of the bathroom door where my robe hangs. Nothing. Oh yeah, last night after hearing the weather was going to be perfect for hanging clothes outside today, I’d taken my robes downstairs to the laundry room too. Just too damn efficient.
So, beginning to shiver, I contemplated my options:
- I could pull my night-clothes over my soaking body and run to the baskets in the hallway for a fresh towel. Of course that might have been an option had I not just trailed a stream of water from the shower to the rug, drenching my clothes as I used them as a stepping stone to the vanity.
- I could call out to the kids for help. That was almost funny. I can barely get them to wake up when I’m standing over them and shaking them. Calling through the bathroom door and then their closed bedroom doors, would surely be a waste of breath.
- There was a roll of paper towel, a half-full (definitely need to be optimistic here) box of Kleenex, and a roll of toilet paper I could use to dry myself. Oh yes, I could see it clearly — an experiment in human papier-mache. Tiny bits of paper stuck to me like glue and toilet paper dust clinging everywhere. No thank you!
- The rug! I could wrap the rug around me, grab a towel from the basket in the hallway, and return to the bathroom to finish drying off. But…how long had that rug been on the floor? When was the last time I washed it? Still, it seemed the only possible option.
Turning the shower back on so I could rinse off in a warm shower before drying myself with a clean towel, I stepped back on to my wet bedclothes, picked up the rug, shook it gently, and watched the bathroom fill with dust. Never mind, I thought, there’s no other choice. I closed my eyes, trying not to think about the dirt, and pulled the rug tightly around me.
Shoving open the bathroom door I walked as fast as I could to the hallway where the clothes baskets waited. The first one was full of clothes, the second had winter blankets that I’d hung on the line last week, and the third — wait, that one had clothes in it too? Where were the towels?
My mind racing, I replayed last weeks laundry adventures in my head and remembered not washing the load of towels because I wanted to concentrate on doing all the laundry I could hang outside first. So now what?
My humor gone, not caring about the birds chirping or the sun rising, I stomped down the stairs, stormed through the great room, trudged into the laundry room and picked a towel out of the dirty laundry. It would have to do.
Dragging myself back up the stairs and into the bathroom I threw the towel on the towel bar, dropped the rug on the floor, and jumped back into the shower. As wonderfully as my day had been going, you’d think I would have anticipated what happened next, but no, I guess the full extent of my morning hadn’t hit me yet, but when the ice-cold water hit me it certainly did. I screeched. Running through the house, searching for a towel had taken enough time to extinguish the last of the hot water. Perfect!
So here I sit at the computer after getting my son off to school, dropping my daughter off at college, and putting a load of towels in the washing machine–with my first cup of coffee. Rehashing this morning’s comedy of errors, I remember Robert Frost’s words,
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on”
and for this I am — Simply Grateful.