Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Purgatory of Purging

Every so often, a purging instinct hits me and I start sorting through all of our home like a cleaning bulimic.  Armed with a laundry bag, a trash bag and a sorting bin, their rooms become my hunting ground and I am ruthless for the first 20 minutes.  Then I get hit with the howls of misery from not always quite a child, and that calls a halt to the process. 

As such, my home  is the laundry version of purgatory.   There are shirts consigned to be immortal in my home with all their flaws and faults and stains.  Worn by no one, but none the less loved, they languish in storage bins awaiting final judgement.

There are times I have prevailed, sending them off to a better or worse place, but the children claim to have mental scars from my victories.

Since I am never without witnesses, I cannot wait to do this task until the last child starts school or our house will explode from overcrowding of tread bare t-shirts. As such, I tried involving them in the process but found they showed as much enthusiasm for this activity as one would for root canal.  I pointed out that this extraction was painless but my eleven year old (who has had a root canal explained), so was the root canal thanks to anesthesia. To get this to happen, I needed to sweeten the deal; he suggested the option to buy new clothes.  I pointed out that sweet deals are what caused the root canal and substituting new beloved items for old ones did not buy me any more storage space which is ultimately what I was seeking. 

When I got a willing participant, conversations things usually ended with me putting as much as possible into the throw away bag and the child frantically seeking clemency for each item.  

Eventually at least one item from the throw away pile would be rescued despite the fact that 1) it doesn't fit, 2) it's torn and 3) the actual color is no longer discernible.   If a trip to the local donations box was not immediate, further rescues would be made.  When I'd find clothing I knew I'd thrown out back in the laundry, they use the fall back claim, "But Mom, I can wear it for pajamas" and "I can hand it down to so-and-so."  I guess if Catholic theology won't work for saving the Pokemon t-shirt, perhaps Buddahism will do.

They'd then lovingly carry said items back to their rooms for fear I'll evict the shirts like a wrathful god, all the time giving me reproachful looks for wanting to discard some of the fabric of their childhood.

Translation: I am stuck with these shirts until I recognize the perfection in their imperfectness.  Shoot!  I thought the purgatory was for the clothing, not for me!

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

make a scrap bag...throw it in the garage or attic or somewhere...promising that soon the beloved shirt will re-emerge as part of a beautiful quilt of memories!

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