This I Believe

Julia - Newbury Park, California
Entered on July 27, 2006

I believe in making my bed every single day. I know, you just mess it up again every night. But I think falling into a fluffy pile of pillows after the day picks your bones clean is a beautiful thing.

Growing up I learned the art of bed-making from my mother and grandmothers. I assumed everyone had a linen closet filled with pristine stacks of sheet sets and ironed pillowcases. As a little girl, I chattered to my grandmother as she made the beds in her home: ruler-straight dust ruffles, hospital corners and perfectly placed shams topped with a pile of flouncy pillows. In my mother’s home the day didn’t really begin until the beds were made. My bed was a pink piece of perfection. My parents created a canopy with a quilting hoop and rosebud-patterned fabric. I could find my center again in that circle of cotton.

When I went to boarding school we were required to maintain neat rooms. But I made my bed purely for myself. My tiny room was my fortress against loneliness, meanness, and doubt. So each morning I was busy re-tucking the hospital corners, fluffing the comforter, preparing my own sweet welcome for later.

Now I am years past that life. I have a family and a home of my own. I worry less about mean girls and people who deliberately misunderstand me. But my room is still my fortress, my bed the central tower.

My best days begin with my husband and all three of my children snuggled in, dozing in the early hours. In fact, our babies came into this world hungry for a soft, warm place to start from each day. They all still stagger in to finish waking up in “the big bed”.

And our worst, saddest days end with all of us heaped together in that bed, holding on, re-centering, praying.

Making the bed is a funny thread running through my life: full of memories and solace, family and home. I know it doesn’t really put the world to rights, but a fluffed pillow never hurt anybody.

So I believe in making my bed.