Washing Dishes with Chandler
Washing dishes hasn’t historically made my heart skip a beat. It does now. Sometimes.
Whenever I would see a clean white dish on the drainer, I knew Chandler had been there. Sometimes he would bring about 50 pounds of dishes down from his room, caked in petrified food. He would run a sink full of steaming, soapy water and assure me, “Mom, I will wash these. Don’t do it. I’m letting them soak.” Sometimes I couldn’t stand to see all those dishes in the sink, and I would wash them before the day was over. But if I didn’t, he always kept his word.
Today I heard from a friend that whenever Chandler was at a party, he would stay afterwards and help the parents clean up. I’ve heard that from a few parents.
This week I saw a clean white dish on the drainer. Chandler? Please be here. Please come home.
I look to the left and see the little decoupage pot he made me for Mother’s Day at Living Word Lutheran School in 6th grade. I’ve kept it by the sink ever since he made it. Through the years, that little pot has held a lot of different plants – basil, thyme, mint, kalanchoe…I could go on. This is testament to the fact that I kill most everything I attempt to keep alive. I apologize to the kind person who sent us the pretty purple flowers that now appear to be dwindling in Chandler’s little pot. I’m trying. I really am.
What won’t die are my memories of Chandler. Every time I look at that little hand-made treasure. Every time I see a clean white dish on the drainer, the rest of my family channeling their inner Chandler. My heart will skip a beat. Washing dishes.