Monday, March 5, 2012

I Like Ironing

Yes, you read the title correctly. I like ironing.

My mom says I inherited it from my dad. Early on in their marriage, he made it clear that he ironed his shirts in a very specific way, so she decided it was just easier to let him do it himself.

As for me, I started ironing as a form of teenage rebellion. I know, I know, not exactly the most popular outlet for adolescent angst, but I was embarrassed that my mother did my laundry. So to declare my personal independence, I decided there and then that I would wash and iron my own clothes. That'd show her!

I soon found that I actually enjoyed ironing. It was strangely gratifying for me to see a shirt that was once a wrinkled mess steamed to perfection. And everyone at home knew it.

On Sunday mornings, my little sister would take advantage of my weekly ironing station by storming into the kitchen ten minutes before we had to leave for church with mascara and sleep smudged halfway down her face. She'd hurl a dress at me, and yell "thank you" as she ran into the bathroom to brush her teeth. This became such a tradition that when it came time for me to go to college, my little sisters gave me a matching iron and ironing board to send me on my way.

Even more amazing than these ironing themed graduation gifts, however, is the fact that while my family knows that I like to appear wrinkle-free, I know they love me even when I'm not.

Showing people your "wrinkles" can be a little scary sometimes, especially when those people are the ones you love the most. That fear can often create loneliness so terrifying that it shakes the very foundation of your personal safety. But no matter how much ironing you may do to avoid them, wrinkles are a part of life.

We all live with a fair share of proverbial seat belt marks on newly ironed dress shirts. Sure, the wrinkles may not seem ideal and may even threaten our idea of perfection, but we all must eventually trust that life would be far less lived if the seat belts weren't there at all. And if some people can't or refuse to understand that, then "home" must be the place where they do.

As I continue to hear stories of teenage suicide back in my homeland, I can't stress enough how vital it is to have a home where every family member is valued and loved, no matter how wrinkled they may seem. There is no excuse for it, and there is no substitute.

Every life has value, dear friends, so please, let us value every life.

1 comment:

  1. love your wrinkles Jeff! don't stop writing!