Thursday, July 5, 2012

A New Washer Machine Marks the End of an Era: Words for Young Parents

My mother cried the day my dad traded off our light blue 1969 Plymouth station wagon. I recall rolling my eyes and thinking that I had a mother who was just a tad kooky. 38 years later I think I understand how she felt.  The appliance man just loaded up the washer machine I purchased when our oldest son was an infant.  I am glad to report that the kind man from Sears did not have to offer me a handkerchief or comfort me in my grief. I actually held it together quite well, but I recognized that the replacement of the washer machine symbolized the end of an era in our family.

I still remember going to the appliance store in 1989 and purchasing our first brand new washer and dryer set.  They replaced a vintage avocado green pair that I had purchased from a friend for a whopping $75.00. The green appliances were probably new about the same time that my dad bought that Plymouth station wagon in 1969. We were new parents in July of 1989, and our baby needed a first rate washer and dryer to get his life off to good start.

Today he is a college graduate making his own way in this world. There is no doubt in my mind that any success he is enjoying can be traced directly back to the clothes laundered in the new Whirlpool washer machine that were carefully washed in baby friendly Dreft laundry detergent. Unfortunately he was not present this morning to say goodbye to a machine that set him up for a good life.

As the man drove off with a washer machine that I feel like I purchased two weeks ago, I realized that the pages in the various chapters of our lives turn faster than we can blink. My message to young parents is twofold: Buy a good washer machine when your kids are small.  Clean clothes for that precious baby are a good thing.  There is no doubt as to the correlation between a good washer and your child’s future.  But secondly I would urge young parents to invest time in your children.  Invest of yourself, because one day a man from Sears will come and haul that washer away.  And you might have to ask him for a handkerchief. 

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