For the record, I’m tired of doing dishes.
My mom turned the task over to me sometime when I was in middle school, and it feels like I’ve spent the rest of my life standing in front of a kitchen sink.
At holiday gatherings in my younger days, one cousin and I always seemed to end up on dish duty. The other cousins, it seemed, had babies to tend to or at least knew how to make themselves scarce when it was time to clean up after dinner. That cousin and I bonded over a sink full of dirty dishes for many years.
I admit that although I’m tired of doing dishes, I haven’t been great about turning the task over to my kids. Occasionally, Chris and I will sit at the dinner table and ask them to clean up, but it’s a rare event. Most of the time, they claim they have too much homework. I accept the excuse even though I’m pretty sure that argument never went over when I was a teen.
This Thanksgiving, as my sister-in-law and I started to clean up the dinner dishes, I suddenly decided I was done. I called in my son (who had done very little up to this point), handed him the sponge and told him to get to work. My sister-in-law called in her boys, gave them towels and told them to start drying. Then we stood back and watched their bonding begin. It was a beautiful thing.
Last night, after attending a dinner function with one of my kids, I arrived home after 9 p.m. to a sink full of dirty dishes. Clearly, I still have some work to do if I want to hang up my dish rag for good.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein, who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 17, Lilly, 16, Adam, 16, and Jonah, 12.