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There is perfect precision to my son’s laundry. He has exactly one basket each week with exactly two loads in it—one white, one color. Nothing requires special attention. In fact, his dirty t-shirts are so clean that I could probably just refold them, and he’d never know. His socks are remarkable. Just as many come out of the dryer as went into the wash. This tiny miracle gives me a warm and snuggly feeling of accomplishment every time I wash his clothes.

Then there is my daughter. She takes a charmingly random approach to laundry. I never know when to expect her basket, and it is always full of surprises—a ski jacket, maybe a wool skirt, somebody else’s bathing suit, flip flops, a belt or two, and sometimes a cowboy boot or a purse. Her socks used to be my biggest intellectual challenge as a housewife. Hard as I tried, I could never find matching pairs. I would end up just throwing them all in a pile, and sighing.  Then one day I looked down at her little shoeless feet—one blue sock and one yellow sock. Ah…ha.

Order and chaos tug at each other in my house all the time. Take my job hunt, for instance. One day I have a plan, and forge ahead with a sense of divine purpose and absolute control, ready to conquer the world. The next day my confidence is sucked into cyberspace. Or look at my household management skills. One day the kitchen is spotless, the beds are made, the dog is walked, dinner is in the crock-pot, I am showered and flossed, and then the next day I can’t even remember to brush my teeth. It’s like a wacky-shack around here sometimes. Even the cats think I am crazy. (Hell, they should know, especially Kyle the yellow cat. He has been nuttier than a fruitcake ever since the dryer accident. He isn’t so aggravating that I’d stuff him in a bong (read the paper) but still…) On the other hand, maybe it isn’t me. Life just seems a little messy everywhere right now; like it can’t quite control itself, and right when I get my thumb on it, it wriggles out and scurries under the couch. And I bet I am not the only one who feels like crawling under there, too. (Except I have claustrophobia, so I’d rather hide some place else.)

Anyway, today is laundry day. Ying meets yang. And as much as I like order and, even better, control over that order, maybe I should think a little differently. Maybe instead of racking my brain to fix things, to nail down the future, I should wrap my heart around the chaos, embrace the wackiness. Even soak up a little goofy charm and surprise myself. One blue sock and one yellow sock. You know, when you think about it, that’s pretty darn cute.