My mom washed the clothespins yesterday afternoon.
She was getting the house at the beach ready for the summer.
There are things everyone does, like taking a shower or brushing their teeth. And there are things many of us do, like making the bed.
Then there is washing the clothespins.
The clothespins don’t need to be washed every Spring, but mom says you can’t let it go too long.
She mixes a quarter cup of bleach with water and soaks them in a red, plastic basin.
Afterward, she lays them out on a towel to dry.
I’ve been pressing my parents about how they spend their time lately and it’s turned up some revelations.
I knew mom washes the sheets, but I hadn’t realized she does it specifically on Monday. And of course I had no idea she cleans the clothespins. It never came up before I asked.
It’s the kind of effort that stands in contrast to so much of our culture, which bends inexorably toward cheap and disposable. It conveys gratitude and respect for things that enrich our lives.
Author Carol Dweck says that one of the things parents can teach their kids is a growth mindset in which hard work and persistence combine to nurture development.
You could buy a block of 100 new wooden clothespins on Amazon for $4.19 or get the plastic versions for $3.58. But they don’t have the same feel as pins weathered by the sun and rain.
There is no question it’s more delightful to hang your bathing suit and towel on the line with a wooden clothespin than put it in the dryer.
But it takes effort to create that experience.
(Part of a series based on conversations with my parents about how to manage life.)