Laura had never before known that Ma hated sewing. Her gentle face did not show it now, and her voice was never exasperated. But her patience was so tight around her mouth that Laura knew she hated sewing as much as Laura did. (from Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder)
There is no end to the gentle lessons I am learning from my re-reading of the Little House books. I was thinking of the things I hate to do–laundry and dishes, to name the two biggest–and wondering if I always show a good attitude toward these chores in front of my son. I think my neglecting the laundry that needs to be put away could be a good indicator if he were old enough to notice such things. When I read the Little House books I am ashamed at how much I dislike these chores that are so easy for me compared to the way the Ingalls family had to do the same things. It’s not as if I have to first cut out and baste and sew our clothes, then scrub them in a tub of water I drew from a well and hauled bucket by bucket, then wring them out layer by tedious layer, and hang to dry on a line. When they are dry, I do not have to spritz and iron them. No, I just separate by color, put them in the machine, select the proper cycle and then move them to the dryer and set the cycle there. The only part that is not done for me by machine is the folding and hanging and putting away. And this is the part I hate doing and shamefully neglect to do, sometimes re-tossing the clothes in the dryer a couple of times before I get around to taking them out. I don’t even iron unless it is absolutely necessary. If tossing it in the dryer doesn’t get the wrinkles out and I have to wear that garment I will drag out the iron and ironing board, but this is so rare I can’t even remember the last time I did it.
Well, I should probably get to the pile of laundry that is mocking me from the bassinet even as I type. But I will try to work on my attitude and be more like Ma Ingalls.