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Sunday, May 19, 2024
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Chores and their tedious beauty

How helping out around the house strengthened my relationship with my mom

 I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve got the best mom anyone could ever ask for.

My unapologetically loud and Jewish mom reassures me, motivates me to take on challenges and, above all else, makes me bring our family’s laundry baskets up and down the stairs. 

My Dad is awesome too, but sorry, dude: this one’s about mom. (Maybe I’ll write about you in the next issue if you hook me up with a medium double quarter pounder meal from McDon’s.)

My mom did everything she could to make sure I was raised right. She gave me all the conventional mom advice to make sure I was brought up in an orderly fashion: Don’t curse, don’t talk to strangers, don’t talk back to your mother, etc.

But the one simple aspect of my upbringing that truly shaped who I am today? Doing chores. 

“Dyl, come bring up the laundry!” 

That line has been burned into my brain. To this day, I still abide by her majesty’s command. I did other chores like sweeping the floor and cleaning the kitchen table after dinner, but bringing up the laundry just made me plain angry. 

“Why is she asking me to do it?!” I would think to myself. My younger, dual-varsity athlete brother and my older sister were perfectly capable of doing it. Why is she asking me to bring up the laundry if I’m in my bed on the second floor and my mom’s right next to the laundry in the basement?

“Dyl, come get the laundry, now.” 

Welp, may as well just do it before my Xbox disappears. Naturally, after being told twice, I give in and help my mom bring up all of the baskets while my younger brother laughs and plays Fortnite. 

I hated doing this chore as a kid, but my feelings now are a little more positive. 

My mom would ask me to keep her company while she sorted mountains of laundry into their designated piles and loaded our washing machine. I’d sit with my mom while she took care of the laundry for the entire house, and we would just talk about life. 

I didn’t have many friends as a kid and often felt really lonely. I was bullied for being overweight, which became a main topic of conversation between me and my mom.

I’d tell my mom how upset the kids at school made me feel, and she would get really angry. She’d remind me that I didn’t have to take that crap from anyone, and then she’d tell me everything she loved about me. 

When I was upset, I’d say, “No one wants to hang out with me. No one wants to be my friend.” She would simply reply with, “Well I want to hang out with you! I’ll be your friend!” I was in shambles, but that would make me laugh and forget about my loneliness for a moment.

When our LG washing machine sang its little high pitched song, she’d stuff the last pile of clothes into the laundry baskets, and we would haul them up the stairs. We’d drop clothes as we walked, laughing about it in the process. When we reached my parent’s room, we dumped all of the clean laundry on their bed and started folding. My dad would put on the AMC channel, so we could watch the latest episode of the “Walking Dead.” 

It amazes me that a simple chore strengthened the bond between me and my mom. Sure, I complained about it when I was younger, and sometimes I still do. But then I remember how hard my mom worked to prepare me for this world, and how helpful she was in my time of need. 

Now, when I hear “Dyl, come bring the laundry up,” I simply get out of bed and do it

I don’t ask questions anymore. Why would I? I have the privilege of helping out my mom and spending some quality time with her in the process. 

Dylan Greco is the opinion editor and can be reached at dylan.greco@ubspectrum.com 

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