Do you clean like your mom?
Anticipating Mother’s Day, a few weeks ago I sent an email to my siblings, my mom’s sister, and her six children.
I was interested in finding out the extent to which we all picked up a specific bed-making approach that “Grand” (my grandmother) had.
She was a grand lady indeed – very proper from the top of her neat bun to the tips of her toes.
Grand had a very specific way of making a bed. No wrinkles, hospital corners, top sheet folded down over the cover or comforter, pillows fluffed just so. She most certainly passed her bed-making gene down to my mom, who, in turn, passed it on to her children.
For me, making the bed “the right way” is pretty much a compulsion.
It sounds like a lot, but in reality takes about 2 minutes to do.
I wanted to know if any of my siblings or cousins or my aunt felt compelled to make their beds the same way.
The response was immediate – and poignant.
First I heard from my cousin Cathi: “I think of Grand every single day when I make the bed. I check the corners (and Stephen wants to strangle me) and then I smooth each sheet or blanket, then I fluff each pillow … and give it a final pat with Marie Adele’s little pillow in the middle. Grand is almost watching me as I go.”
Then Christine jumped in: “Definitely the best way to start my day, thinking of Grand as I try to make the bed perfectly. I always pull the sheets straight, perfectly align the blanket (just below the trim of the sheet) and fold them down. And yes, Cathi, I fluff the pillows and fold them in.”
My brother added: “What a great topic! I can smell the ironed sheets on the pull out beds in the basement of Grand’s house now. I have always made my bed first thing when I get up (can’t even brush my teeth before I do it). And hearing all your descriptions makes me yearn for home, as Mom always made our beds that way. I use fitted sheets, and have never ironed a sheet in my life. And though I don’t fold down the sheet on top of the blanket, I know darn well that I should!”
And the thread went on as each person chimed in with their bed-making rituals, confirming that they thought of Grand (or mom) every day as they tucked in their sheets.
Isn’t it beautiful how this simple bed-making ritual keeps the spirits of my mom and grandmother here with us in the present?