Kids gone wild – it happened in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. Voicing great displeasure at her blatant disregard for his privacy, area teenager Chad Fleming reported Wednesday that he is fed up with his mother always barging into his bedroom to put away freshly washed laundry.
“Jesus, Mom! Why can’t you just respect my personal space?” an angered Fleming told his mother, who entered his bedroom unannounced, carrying a basket full of clothes that she had spent the previous two hours separating by color, washing, and neatly folding.
Chad continued, “Is it so hard to knock? God, you never let me be.”
We won’t know how this story ends for some time. But it really doesn’t matter. Should Mrs. Fleming knock before entering her son’s room? Probably. But does she have the right to enter her son’s room – especially with his clean laundry – anytime she wants? Definitely.
It says a lot about where we are as a society that a teenager . . .
1. Can’t do his own laundry
2. Doesn’t first express gratitude to his mother for doing his laundry
3. Then complains to friends (who contacted the media about his mother’s “intrusion”)
When I was a boy, this would not have happened. That’s because I was expected to do my own laundry. At the risk of sounding really old, beginning at age eight, I had to walk across the street in my apartment complex to the laundry area, shove in a bunch of quarters, and do my laundry myself. And for the seven years we didn’t have a washing machine, I continued this practice – never feeling the persecution of the moment.
Had my mother entered my room unannounced, with an armful of laundry – clean and folded – snapping at her would have been the last thing I would have done. My dad would have made sure of that!
So here’s to moms everywhere. It’s your home and your kids’ laundry. If you want to be so kind as to do for them what they could have done for themselves, and personally take it into their room unannounced, prepare for the consequences. But the next time you feel the urge, you might want to consider letting little Chad learn the intricacies of a modern washing machine himself.
It will do him good. In life, he will eventually have to learn to deal with his own dirty laundry, anyway.