Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Dirty Laundry

It happened again. We were in a tizzy collecting hats, shirts, cleats, water bottles, gloves, mitts, bats and balls from the far corners of the house and garage.

Unfortunately, clean baseball pants could not be found.

A little digging, literally, revealed that the best and favorite baseball pants were in the damp and dirty heap of laundry which I had been conveniently ignoring.

In the rush to get out the door, I urged the boys to wear clean baseball pants, even if they were the ones with a hole or didn't fit quite right.

“Mom, these fall down when I run!” one of them said incredulously. It was a tough point to argue, so I consented in a huff!

“Fine. Wear the dirty ones.”

He quickly changed into the dirty ones that fit. When he stood, I saw that the pants were grass stained from mid-thigh to below the knee. A huge probably-never-gonna-get-it-out-anyway grass stain.

I looked him over and shook my head still wishing he would wear the ill-fitting, clean ones. He saw it in my expression. Trying to draw me back to reality he asked, “Does it really matter which pants I wear?”

I turned for the door and answered correctly, “No. I guess it doesn't.”

It doesn't matter if you wear grass stained baseball pants to a baseball game where you’re going to get grass stains. I repeated it to convince myself, “No. It doesn't matter.”

As we headed toward the ball diamond they joined the team around the pitcher’s mound. My boys are walking hampers. A declaration of my laundry laziness.

I was almost ready to high-five myself for “getting over it” when I realized there was someone new on the field.

A photographer.

Oh yeah.

Team pictures.

So I asked myself again, “Does it matter?” And with disappointment I answered, “No.”

Shouldn't I feel relived that it doesn't matter? Of course I should. But I was disappointed because my laundry neglect was about to be memorialized in a glossy, full color, 5x7 print. Alas, I had pre-ordered a “sports folder photo package” to display at home, wear as a button on my jacket, and place as a magnet on our fridge.

As I watched the photographer arrange the boys by height, kneeling just right, in the dirt, I finally looked past the grass stains and saw the boy inside the dirty laundry.

He posed confidently with grass-stained knees bent in a batting stance. His photogenic smile was proof he had not wasted one second wondering what other people think about his mom’s laundry schedule.

Then she snapped the photo.

It will be a few weeks before I see how it turned out. But when I get that “sports folder photo package” I’m going to display the dirty grass stained picture. I’m going to put the magnet on my fridge, and if I’m feelin’ the team spirit, I might even wear the button.

Because the grass stained pants are worn by a boy who showed his mom what mattered.

And that is worth displaying.

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