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the Presence Point

An Ode to Pink Laundry

photo credit: AlphaTangoBravo / Adam Baker via photopin cc

An Ode to Pink Laundry

Article originally published on The Shambhala Times

I have a big surprise for you: I’m about to hatch a baby!

Embarking on this new journey towards motherhood, I sigh and cry when babies’ first laundry comes out of the wash… pink.

We’ve been so deliberate in not knowing the gender of our unborn child, of encouraging gender-neutral gifts, inviting rainbows into our home (not just blues or pinks). And then all the white clothes we’ve been given, they turn to pink.

But then I remember my own journey into adulthood – my first load of laundry on my own in my first tiny apartment, I remember it came out pink too. So perhaps, I am welcoming this little one perfectly in style, according to my own goofy tendency towards mishap.

It doesn’t matter who did the washing, who warned about separating colors, or who gave us the cutely tie-dyed onesie (that apparently was not yet color-set). What mattered was that we could laugh in the end.

Launching into an entirely new sphere of life, entering a new phase…we are about to become parents. Parents. What a loaded word. How do we embark without all the baggage? How do we enter freshly, without transferring all the weighty karmic burdens?

I have no idea. And it might not even be possible. But I do know that one trick we are learning, even before baby joins us in the outside world, is that humor cuts through the aggression and pain of mishap.

My sagely humorous husband said to me, in the wake of the pink laundry incident last night, “the one thing you can be sure of is that nothing is going to be perfect!”

I cried and then I laughed. He was right. Aiming for perfection – it’s a painfully dangerous game, and it won’t get us where we want to be. Not even close.

Letting go of the pink laundry (we’ll try to bleach it and see how that goes), I let in the joy of our impending arrival. Welcoming our little bundle of joy, whether we are ready or not, whether we will ever be ready, this is where the heart of the matter really resides. Can we welcome this little being who has so snugly cuddled inside of me for 9 months? Can we welcome this little one into a new life with joy, humor and space? Can we meet those moments of pink laundry with humor instead of panic and pain?

Probably not all the time, but we are laying the grooves, the framework, the pathway towards choosing lightness over heaviness. We can be different from our parents, while probably still including lots of wonderful stuff we inherited from them. And when it gets right down to it, just being open to the journey unfolding before us will allow us to traverse it with love and gentleness.

So, welcome, little baby! Whether you like pink or not, you get us!