Dylan is doing fine. He seems to be settling into the routine of visits home at weekends and to understand that he doesn’t need to transport his belongings backwards and forwards every time. He still tries to sneak things past us though. When I picked him up on Saturday, a care worker had just encouraged him to relinquish a bag of dirty laundry Dylan had packed for me to wash. Other young men, away from home for the first time, will no doubt be doing the same over the next few weeks, I smiled to myself; Dylan could be any mother’s son.
I’m sure that as far as Dylan is concerned, there’s no one like mum for folding shirts. He has always been very particular about his clothes. I have an image of Dylan standing, arms crossed, watching over me while I iron. I was never sure whether it was the jets of steam or the smell of clean which drew him down from his bedroom to watch.
Part of me is relieved to no longer have quite so much laundry to do, but because it was something Dylan took pleasure from I’ve missed doing it for him. And I’ve been thinking about these small acts of love – washing Dylan’s clothes, drying them on the rack then ironing and folding them for his drawers. Such a simple process, washing someone’s clothes, yet so intimate. As close as you can get to another person, in a sense, without touching.
It’s a small thing, but it’s still a loss. Something to feel the loss of…