This past month I made a declaration of independence for myself and for the members of my household. I have made it known to my children that from this point forward I will no longer be doing their laundry. I say children, but really they are teens, or more accurately known in our home as young adults. My son is fifteen, intelligent and responsible enough to have a part-time job and is finishing up his Junior year in high school; my daughter is thirteen-going-on-thirty, almost in high school and since she does about thirty percent of the cooking and an equal percentage of household cleaning I’d say she and her brother are more than capable of laundering their own soiled clothing.

Just to clarify, these two well-rounded young people did in fact already know how to do the laundry. We even have a very detailed *chart that has been hanging on the wall of the Laundry Room for years to which they may refer should they have any questions about what temperature setting is needed for a small load of jeans or a large load of towels. And to be honest, they do regularly change and launder their own bed linens and throw in the occasional load of towels. I guess since I kind of enjoyed the rhythmic routine of wash-switch-dry-fold-repeat I have been slow to relinquish this responsibility to my children. However, now that I am fully emancipated I cannot imagine why I waited so long.

Just as I was writing this post I was pleasantly interrupted by a sweet young feminine voice calling the family to the dinner table where hot and juicy homemade hamburgers were being served. After enjoying a relaxing meal together my husband proceeded to let me know that it was our daughter who had prepared the delicious hamburgers using the large propane barbecue all on her own, from start to finish, with his permission but without any assistance from him, while he was busy working in the front yard. She has barbecued before with her dad nearby as grill-coach, but never completely on her own until today.

Afterward my husband went outside to cover the barbecue only to discover it safely turned off, including the main gas line and valve having been cleared and closed, grill scraped and brushed with everything cleaned and wiped down. We did not tell her to do any of this. She just took the initiative and did what needed to be done, all without our knowing. She must have been busily doing this while her brother was helping his dad with yard work or vacuuming upstairs.

Ah, do you hear that? That, my friend, is the sound of liberty bells ringing.     Or maybe it is just the timer on the clothes dryer.

Let freedom ring!

*To download a customizable version of the laundry chart we use please visit Mom’s Tool Belt for this and many other helpful household forms. 
© Una-Melina // Worthy Books & Things, 2013.