Hannah was a toddler. Noah was a baby. Our firstborn, Jacob, had died not long ago.
Jeremy and I were volunteers. We helped other families who had been through a brain tumor diagnosis. Jeremy changed careers. I took over some of the freelance work he had been doing before switching careers.
9/11 happened. The photography industry continued to implode.
We were out in the world with two healthy children. We made new friends with people who had kids the same ages as ours. We lived rich, child -centric, work -centric and ambitious lives.
It wasn't always easy. It was frequently difficult. I'll say one thing. Our lives were never boring.
We were really busy.
We kept up with the laundry. I should say we kept up with the sorting, washing and drying of the laundry. What we weren't keeping up with was folding it and putting it away.
Just like always, the hamper in the bathroom and one additional laundry bag was filled with dirty laundry. But we also had another laundry bag of clean laundry. When we were less busy, naturally, we folded our clean laundry and put it away in the drawers. However, at this time, that situation had taken a turn.
We spent a lot of time in our living room playing with the kids. The bag of clean laundry was always in there too, propped up against the couch or the changing table.
Sometimes when it was time for us to get dressed, we would still find what we wanted in our drawers. Same with the kids's clothes. But most of the time we would rifle in the clean bag of laundry. You'd stick your hand in and feel around for underwear and piece together an outfit from there. The socks would be challenging. That could take a couple of tries.
We would do the same thing when it was time to dress the kids or re-pack the diaper bag.
Really, it wasn't bad. Because we were doing the laundry frequently, chances are you'd find your favorites in there. Yours and of course, the cutest, high rotation clothes for the kids.
Jeremy started calling the laundry bag of clean clothes, which had become a semi permanent installation, the soft closet. It was an apt name and it stuck.
Have you seen my jeans? I just saw them in the soft closet.
I'm out of underwear. There's a whole bunch in the soft closet.
Hey! I just found this tee shirt in the soft closet. Do you want to wear it?
Eventually, our laundry situation was more under control. We became better at time management. The kids went from toddlerhood to pre-school where we exchanged one set of challenges for others. More often than not, the laundry got folded and put away. To be honest, this happens to be one of my favorite household chores.
Everything, smoothed, folded and in its place. Tee shirts crisp and stacked. Noah's school chinos clipped to hangers. An organized, orderly life. I'm living a little piece of that dream. I fold up the laundry bag and put it in the basket for next time.