I am always shocked when parents tell me their kids don’t have chores. I just want to shout, “that’s not fair!” like a five-year-old, even though I’m grown and should have grown out of “fairness.” I haven’t. I have yet to learn that life’s not fair. I know it isn’t, but I still haven’t agreed with it.
I’ve been doing chores since birth. I think I greeted the world with a wet rag in hand. Every Monday, Wednesday, (love the Oxford comma) and Friday I vacuumed. Every Friday I cleaned toilets, sinks and mirrors. Every afternoon I weeded something – mostly the gravel driveway, but once in awhile, I got to deal with actual soil. After every meal I did dishes and wiped down the table. I used to take out the garbage until I bribed my brother to do it for a quarter every Thursday because I was deathly afraid of our cat, Black Jack, who laid atop the garbage lid.
All this to say, I worked my little ass off. And since I was home schooled, that gave me even more time to slave away. But I can’t say all my siblings had the same work ethic. My mom had a communist attitude of no one can play until all the work is done. OK, so I’m not sure if that’s communist, I’m really not too familiar with communist thinking, but whatever the mentality, it meant more work for me, less for everyone else. So I did it. Grudgingly. Once, I voiced to mom my thoughts of unfairness; she didn’t care in the least.
Years have passed. Over a decade, really. And although I’ve gotten over the fact that I weeded 15/16ths of our yard single-handedly, I haven’t gotten over the fact that life’s not fair. Every day, I’m reminded of it, and every day I want to scream the injustices of it as if someone out there cares. No one does. And weeds always grow back. I need to learn to just keep my trowel in hand and not expect any differently, but I still hold out a little hope of change. Foolishly, I still hold onto that childlike naivety that the world is inherently good.