When I was little, my mom would always sit down with a basket of clean laundry to fold after everyone was in bed. Us kids would be in bed by 8, my dad asleep by 9. She’d sit on the couch and fold, the house impeccably clean around her, my dad’s lunch packed and ready to go in the morning.

Now and then I would sneak out to the living room, quilted, worn blankie in hand, and lay down on the couch beside her, or on the floor in front of the stove, unaware of how my presence might take away a little of her traditional, peaceful down time. I’d watch her fold socks, roll underwear, and laugh at the Carol Burnett Show on the TV across the room. 

She’d always wake me up when the credits were rolling, and I’d always ask if the Carol Burnett Show was a cartoon. I remember the little animated “janitor” at the end and her mop.


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