I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago and she reminded me of a conversation we had a few years ago about folding towels. We were having a GNO (Girls Night Out) and some how we started talking about towels. As I remember, each lady had a specific way to fold towels. Now, if you think about it, you probably do as well. One of the ladies was adamant that her teenage son fold the towels the right way. If he didn’t, she would get upset and frustrated. This frustration would lead her to refolding all the towels and fussing at him. Another friend had a young daughter at the time. We talked about how the mom wanted the towels folded the right way so she did the laundry herself.
Here is my take. I taught my kids to fold clothes, including towels, as soon as they could walk. The towels might end up in a ball but I praised them and thanked them and added it to the stack of other wadded up towels. As they got older and their coordination was better, they folded the towels better. I still offered the same praise. Yes, I put the towels away just as they folded them. The lesson was three-fold for me. I wanted them to learn to do laundry, I wanted them to know that what they did was good enough and most importantly, I wanted to building a relationship with them. As they grew, the expectation grew for them to not ball the towel but try to fold the towel. Was it perfect? Absolutely not! But I wasn’t looking for perfection.
Back to my story. The mom of the younger child got it immediately. She told me a few weeks ago that she still remembers the conversation and it changed how she approaches everyday tasks with her daughter. It’s not about the towel.
What’s the point of this story? Don’t allow the small things in life to stifle your relationships. It’s just a towel and at the end of the day, what difference does it make? Do you want to be known as the person with a linen closet full of perfectly folded towels or the person who had lifelong, life giving, and loving relationships?
As a side note, the fantastic4 were in a Christmas play last year. In one scene, the three youngest were part of a group of people going about every day life. Number 3, little dude from upstairs, was folding some sort of cloth in this scene. I laughed when I saw him folding it with care and like a pro.