And that meant that for two weeks, until yesterday, my family of 10 did not have a washing machine. It was, as you can imagine, quite a pain.
But I want to tell you two sweet side effects of our washing machine’s untimely demise.
Firstly, after doing 8 loads of laundry yesterday (9 kilo a piece!) the fragrance of fresh laundry fills my entire home. I never knew Tide could smell so sweet!
Secondly, before last Shabbat, when I ran out of white shirts and Yaakov and Yoni ran out of shorts and I needed a Shabbat dress for Tsofia, I did something I absolutely detest doing, and which I tend to avoid at almost all costs.
I asked for a favor.
I announced on the neighborhood English list that I am washing-machine-less. And if any kind soul could do a load of laundry for me, it would be mightily appreciated by me, my husband, and our offspring.
Within minutes, 4 mothers offered to do laundry for me: two of whom I’d never even met.
Asking favors feels really yucky: uncomfortable, vulnerable.
But it was a fascinating experience. To be forced to ask for help, and to receive it.
I was touched, and floored … when one volunteer laundress called to ask if I wanted her to add fabric softener to my load. And when another mother (in her 9th month!) returned my laundry neatly folded (to which my 11-year-old son responded, in shock “What IS that!?”). And another mother (whom I’d never met) did my laundry, I found out, while preparing for her only son’s upsherin the following day.
My broken washing machine showed me just how sweet it is to receive.
And how nurtured and blessed I felt…
Which made me think how nurtured and blessed our children and husbands hopefully feel, when we give to them. Every day. Day in, day out.
A feeling almost as sweet, I imagine, as the fragrance of Tide filling my home after 2 weeks without.