Close your eyes and think back to your earliest childhood memories. What do you remember? For me, it’s the sound of the laundromat as the washers and dryers hum a sweet lullaby, and the feeling of laying down in the basket. It was a place of warmth, surrounded by the comforting sounds of my older sisters chatting and laughing as they tackled the mundane task of laundry. Today, I want to explore the power of childhood memories and how they shape who we are today. Inspired by a question that asked me to sum up my youth in two words, I couldn’t help but think of “laundromat basket” and the memories that come flooding back. Join me on this journey as we look back on our fondest childhood memories, and explore how they continue to shape us into the people we are today. Stick with me on this, I promise there’s a method to the madness.
What is it about laundromat baskets that makes a kid feel safe? It’s the warmth of the clean clothes coming out of the dryer. Laying on them made me feel like I was getting a hug from grandma. I felt safe. I felt security. I felt comfortable. As I’ve gotten older, that memory has taken on a profound new meaning. It reminds me of the importance of finding joy in the everyday moments of life, particularly those shared with loved ones. In a world that’s often defined by stress, anxiety, and loneliness, it’s moments like those at the laundromat that can sustain us and strengthen our bonds with one another.
HALF A CENTURY OLD
This past March, I celebrated my 52nd day of birth on this earth. As I reflect on my age and the memories I cherish most from childhood I couldn’t help but think of the simple act of going to the laundromat with my two older sisters. To you this may seem like an odd memory to share, but for me it’s special because those trips have stayed with me to this day. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, I have vivid memories of our weekly trips to the laundromat. It was an era when middle-class families couldn’t afford such luxuries as a washer and dryer at home. That meant, if the family did have one as we did, it was often broken down or in constant need of repair. Going to the laundromat became the norm for many families during that time. As a child, I always looked forward to our trips to the laundromat because, for me, it was a chance to turn a mundane task into something fun and exciting. Laundromat was special because it gave me the opportunity to bond with my older sisters. Over the months and years of doing laundry with them I got to know their personalities. What drives them? What motivates them? I learned of their passion and desires to be the best. To be kind. To be adventurers and above all to be brave. These are the lessons I learned and carry with me as an adult.
Let us not underestimate the power of everyday experiences. Every seemingly mundane task has the potential to teach us something new, help us to connect with others, or create lasting memories that we can look back on with fondness. In today’s world where everything is about speed and convenience, it’s easy to take for granted the small but significant moments that make up our lives. Visits to the laundromat may seem like an annoyance or a chore to some, but for me, it was an opportunity to connect with family, make new friends, and learn valuable life skills. These are lessons that have stayed with me and helped me to appreciate the simple things in life that truly matter.