A blessing always carries with it a responsibility.
My first thought today when I read this quote this year was about the simple blessing of having enough towels. Now this might not seem like the usual response when asked to think about what one is blessed with but it was the case for me today. The reason these two, “blessings” and “towels” come together for me started when as a newly wedded couple my husband and I opened our wedding gifts. We received an abundance of towels: bath hand towels, bath body towels, bath washcloths, kitchen hand towels, kitchen dish cloths, and kitchen washcloths. Included with these linens we also received many hot pads, and hot mitts, tablecloths, and even some linen napkins.
I’m not sure how we came up with the idea or why but we decided to keep all of them. We boxed them up for our first move and planned to keep them boxed till we could better store and use them. All my towels and linens had to be stored in several boxes and as time passed through several moves we hauled and stored our towels; the ones we had out and used and the ones that we hadn’t used yet. This went on till we happily bought our first and even current house. Excitedly I was able to have a place to finally put all my fun wedding gifts, towels included, and use them. We had three children at that time and had even added to our collection of towels cloth diapers. We finally were settled and could unpack our linens. They occupied two full closets. Oh, and that also included our extra blankets and sheets. I knew I forgot something. Both closets were near my girls’ bedroom.
This abundance of towels has come in handy many times. Our towels became very useful when our home substituted for a hotel when we had family come visit. During these visits, we discovered that everyone could use as many towels as they liked and I still won’t have to worry about laundering them until after they left. Even when the not so planned life moments happened, we had enough towels to take care of most situations. When our dishwasher overflowed and flooded the floor with water and soap, we had enough towels to soak up the water. When bathtub time got a little crazy, we had enough towels to dry the floor and the children. Even when our children took turns over the years individually stuffing bars of soap or whole rolls of toilet paper down the toilet and flushed it to see what would happen, we had enough towels to soak up the entire floor full of overflowing toilet water.
Now I wanted to be a “good mom.” I generally allowed my girls to play freely within the safety of our home. I wanted to be active in their lives and teach them so I wouldn’t have to monitor them every second. I wanted to be patient and I didn’t want to lose my temper or yell if my children caused trouble or got loud or became annoying. But in my naive state of new parenting and being the youngest child I couldn’t imagine all the small issues that come with raising children including play time.
My girls liked creative playtime. They didn’t need very many toys to play with because they were good at imagining and using the different things around them. But imaginative play sometimes led into mischief causing a jumbled mess when it was done. Have you ever as a child or even saw a child play pretend games? Have you jumped into a pile of leaves or snow because they were soft and seemed like a fun thing to do? Pretended the floor was lava? Pretended that piles of cushions or blankets were mountains? Made a fort with couch cushions and blankets? Hopped or leaped from one floor mat to the next or something of that sort? Well, my girls liked to play like this.
Their imaginative play sometimes included blankets and towels now and again. One day their playing turned into several days of chores for me. Our wonderful blessing of towels that I’ve been mentioning . . . well, my girls pulled almost every clean towel and linen out of the closet and mixed them up with their dirty clothes to make some pretend mountains. Needless to say, I was not happy that I’d have to wash and put away everything again. When my husband came home I asked if we could buy and install a lock at the top of our linen closet. He didn’t think I was too crazy and did it for me. The lock was strategically placed out of reach from my girls’ young arms to reach so hopefully this mix up wouldn’t happen again.
- an unplanned shopping trip to buy a lock,
- installation of said lock,
- at least two days’ worth of washing, drying, folding, and putting away laundry,
and the most important responsibility of
- remembering to lock our new linen closet lock!
Yes, we do get our share of responsibility. And I must also admit that when I think back, we had more than just one day that I had to pick up and fold and put away lots of towels that had been used for creative play. Our family grew even more through time and we found that we were still being gifted more towels. So, our lock stayed up. As most things in our home, our lock has signs of much use. Now we don’t need to lock it anymore but we decided it’s always better to be safe than sorry and keep the lock installed. One never knows when we might get a short-term guest who tries to follow in their parent’s footsteps. As for the towels, we have thrown a few away here and there as time and use wore them out but we just can’t help finding ourselves blessed with them. My responsibility for this blessing, after my daughters’ day of fun, now included locking the linen closest latch so I’ll have them clean and ready when I needed them.