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Pink Laundry and the Better Story

Pink Laundry and the Better Story

It took one proverbial red sock to turn the entire load of newborn baby clothing pink. I sat back on my heels, my swelling belly moving with the unknown gender of our third child, and I just laughed. I held up piece after piece, clothing so obviously fit for a boy, and examined it, remembered it. Two boys into this motherhood game and the third was a mystery. But was it? I had a basket of pink to prove otherwise.

I am a storyteller and I do love a good story. I could see it written, typed onto the screen in twelve point font, as clear as if I had written it myself. Mommy washes boy laundry. Cue the hidden red sock. Laundry turns pink. Could it be about the sweetest way of discovering the gender of my last and final baby? I hadn’t really wished or prayed for a girl and never—not once—felt empty without one. But the pink laundry felt like a sugar and spice and everything nice soundtrack—a symphony disguised neatly as a sitcom title sequence.

Wasn’t it just like God to write a beautiful story like that?

photo credit: Jeremy Brooks via photopin cc

photo credit: Jeremy Brooks via photopin cc

But when the baby was born, he, most definitely was not fit for pink. Our soundtrack turned into snips and snails and puppy dog tails and we rejoiced in the surprise that was simply him. And for awhile that laundry basket of pink clothes sat, ignored in the corner of the laundry room, because life was happening around us and who has time to edit a story that was never really a story to begin with?

I was never heartbroken for the girl I thought I was going to have but I did start feeling a little like the story had failed me. It would’ve been so good. Why would that happen—the dramatic changing from one thing to another—if it wasn’t supposed to be good?

How does one redeem such an obvious error and turn it into poetry? Or do we occasionally have to open our arms to that which is washed up, used up, dyed-wrong and pack it away and pretend it was never whispered into our heart?

Fast forward five years . . . (to be continued over at Next Level Mama)


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