My Beamish Brood

My Beamish Brood

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Up the Hill

A couple of years ago, a friend of mine compared her laundry battle to that of Sisyphus and his boulder. No matter how hard she worked, she still felt as if she had accomplished nothing at the end of the day. At the time, I giggled and moved on; it was a clever analogy but it didn't hit home in my experience. I had one child, and while I've never loved laundry, the pile that three people can make is generally pretty manageable.

I haven't thought about Sisyphus in years. But recently Max discovered the name in some book or song and was curious about it. We researched the Greek myth and read the story together. This was about a week ago, and since then Max has illustrated the entire story, acted it out, and brought it up in conversation nearly every day.

Two days ago, I was engaging in my bad habit of folding clothes and leaving them in piles on the stairs to bring up later. This is a terrible idea; the folded clothes have a tendency to sit untouched for days, and as new clothes get clean the piles begin to look like the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

And then the children happen. One time it's a careless kindergartner who bumps a rickety pile and launches it into the air. The next it's a toddler who finds joy in carefully unfolding and throwing every article of clothing into a pile on the landing. Or maybe it's just a mom hurriedly searching for a clean pair of underwear at the bottom of a stack who sends the whole thing tumbling down.

Anyways, the clothes were folded and I walked away. The toddler came and undid my work, again. I sat down on the landing, amid a huge pile of newly-unfolded clean clothes and looked up the stairs. Suddenly, I understood what it means to feel like Sisyphus.

At least he's got a good attitude about it

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