I haven't folded or put away laundry since August.
Let me be clear: I have DONE laundry...I just put the clean laundry in baskets which make it to my bedroom but never actually get folded. Clothes get hopelessly wrinkled, but they're clean and available. Still, why the sloth? Why haven't I put these things away?
The loads of laundry I did after Charlotte died were filled with all of my favorite maternity clothes. See this blog post for my feelings on my maternity clothes. The thing is, once I'd washed and dried those clothes...I didn't really want to touch them again.
I didn't want to fold a t-shirt and think, "I should be wearing this today." I don't want to put away the pretty sleeveless top with the lace detail and think, "I was so happy when I wore this the last time." I didn't want to pull out my favorite black stretchy pants that felt like yoga pants but looked like slacks and think, "I wore this the day she died."
I finally put them away tonight. I thought all those things. I thought many other things. It was really hard.
It was actually harder than I thought it would be. If things had been different, I wouldn't be going back to school after Thanksgiving. I would be preparing for my new baby right now. I'd be pulling out the baby stuff and finding ways to meld it with Mia's big girl toys. I'd be washing and folding all of the baby's clothes. I'd be so many things that I'm not now. I know my maternity clothes are just clothes, but they've become this painful extended metaphor for my life, my emotions...maybe my sanity to an extent.. I left them wrinkled in the bottom of a laundry basket, hoping that if I just ignored them and didn't deal with them, maybe I could pull them out when I'm happy again.
But I finally put them away tonight.
Now, to be fair and transparent, I did not put them folded into a laundry basket and into the closet...they're still in the drawers of my dresser. This was not, perhaps the biggest leap in my healing process...but it was a step. I'm not ready to take them out of the drawers yet. I still have hope...probably too much hope, but hope none the less...that I'll need them again soon. I still have hope that I'll feel Charlotte's influence on my life and be able to wear those clothes with happiness again. I'm not ready for them to go away.