Sunday, April 23, 2017


How many times have I said, “Put your dishes in the sink!” I confess I have used a high-pitched whine, as if turning up the volume will deliver the desired results.

And do they land in the sink? Well, no. Not always. Okay, not ever. Well, hardly ever.

Each time I remind my son, he says, “Ok Mom," in a dismissive tone, that can only mean, "I heard you the first time. And the second, and the third, and I've lost count."

“I’m not kidding, Charles Benjamin. What do I look like, the maid?”

He thinks this is funny. I know this because he’s Skyping me from his bedroom, and he’s falling over on his bed laughing.

Time to lay down the law.

So I look into the camera. “I'm so sorry.”

He gets this serious look on his face, like, “Huh?”

"Yeah, sorry about lunch, honey."

He waits for an explanation.

"Have you heard the news? The cook just quit." 

This gets his attention. See the face? The carefree grin is gone.

“New rule,” I say. “If you don't put your dishes in the sink, you don't eat. This means that the spoons collecting under your bed must find their way to the soapy water. Your plates must grow legs and run down the stairs, where they are to dive into the sink.”

Then he laughs again, and says, “Oh.”

So here he comes downstairs. “Mom, I show you tometing (something).”

I go to the kitchen, and he points out that he has poured the entire bottle of A1 Sauce on his plate, then covered it with frozen French Fries. He is preparing to stick it in the microwave (because who cares if the cook quit? He'll cook it himself, thank you very much).

And since I’m always getting after him for the amount of A1 he uses (wastes), he thinks if he puts the French Fries on top I won’t see how much sauce he has on the plate. Nice try.

Into the microwave goes the plate. His arms go around my neck. There are hugs. Kisses. Tickles. More hugs.

And up the stairs, he goes. To veg out with his movies and eat his fries. 

In the meantime, I’ve done the dishes, sprayed 401, wiped down the counters where I will condition the pillow I've just finished knitting. First, up: submerge in water for a short while in the sink. I like this new SOAK. It has a floral fragrance. Won’t it smell nice on the couch?

Next, I will place the knitted piece in a bath towel and roll it up to absorb the water, and will then place it on the drying blocks and pin it down, all while keeping close eye on this bad boy right here, who likes to jump in the middle of my knitting, do a little dance, and shred whatever’s there.

Don’t let him fool you with that innocent face. He knows he’s bad because he cries before he gets in trouble, which is every time he gets ahold of my yarn. He just walks all over the house, crying into the wind.

Charley is good to sound the alarm. “Mom, Gizmo got your yarn…”

And I come running to pull it out of his teeth.

But today, I’ll keep close eye on this yarn monger, to make sure he doesn’t see the knitted pillow drying on the dining room table.

At least, that’s the plan.

This pillow has been a challenge to make, but I think it’ll make a nice addition to the house. It has the word “HOME” knitted into the fabric. Just think, everyone who visits will know this isn’t just a house, it is a HOME. The pillow says so.

But first I must head to the kitchen to retrieve my brand new pillow, scented with this fragrant SOAK, and what do you think I see?


And there it is. My Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Wool knitted pillowI bought the yarn at the Carriage House in Kingsport.  If you haven't visited, you'd love it. Here's the link... The Carriage House. The pattern I used is on Ravelry, by Mary Lee.) 

It's soaking, all right. In A-1 sauce. Ah. So he was listening. 

I’m not about to admit what I said. Sorry, use your imagination. Wonder what the sheep would say? After all, it was his backside that gave up the wool that now soaks in sauce meant for a steak.

I have half a mind to call my son downstairs and have a come to Jesus meeting. I said put the dishes in the sink, NOT in my knitting.

Instead, I grab the pillow out of the A-1 water, rinse it, put in more SOAK, soak it again, rinse it again, roll it in the towel, and pin it down on the drying board.

And there it is. The reason I get out of bed. Right there on the pillow, looking back at me. The word “HOME.”

The reason I breathe in and out.

And I am reminded that pillows, knitting, A1, are all replaceable.

HOME, is not. 

Neither is my son.

And that’s ok. I’m at home with that.

I cannot help but laugh out loud. 

He Skypes me again from his bedroom. He's grinning again, proud of himself.

“Hi Mom,” he says. “I put da dish in da sink.” 

I could fuss, but how confusing would that be? How was he to know that the brown pillow soaking in the soapy water in the sink was a work of art? Could have been an old dish towel for all he knew. 

There’s only one thing left to say. “I saw that. Thanks, honey.”

He looks into the camera, blowing me kisses. 

This 26-year-old funny little man I call my son reminds me every day what HOME is. What it is supposed to be. 

That’s it’s not a museum. It's a place that gets messy.

It's where your heart should be open wide, and your arms wider, waiting for that hug that only your loved ones can give. 

It’s a place where you can and should laugh, and do it often. 

A place where you don't have to take yourself so seriously.

Where the dish might land in the sink if you’re not careful, and where A-1 will land on your pillow. 

Where hugs and sticky kisses abound, and where you are listened to (occasionally), and valued. 

A place where space is shared, where things take up more space than they should, and where there is always room for you.

A place where your opinions matter. Were YOU matter.

Where you can be you.

Where you are in competition with no one because being you is all you need to be. And that's pretty good stuff. 

“You happy, Mom?” He says.

I assure him that I am. (Even if I’m not happy about the pillow.)

Not to worry, there is good news. A-1 makes an interesting soak, which means the pillow is still brown. 

It's also on the couch.

 I look into the Skype camera. There's that face again.

“I love you, Mom,” he says.

I love Ewe too, my son.


  1. I love this because it's you and because I wish Tom could see our home this way. Sigh ...

  2. So nice of you to leave this comment. I used to have issues with worrying about having a perfectly spotless home. Charley saved me from myself. Thank God for him. Not that I don't like a clean, pretty house, but it was exhausting trying to keep everything perfect. I'm much happier than I used to be. And, there's more time for play!