By: Shannon Ralph


I had a bit of a revelation today. I have come to the conclusion that, regardless of how utterly insane they make you, a momma can always count on her daughter. I adore my boys and I have no doubt they love me with all of their tiny little hearts. However, they are pretty much useless most days. I say that with the utmost of affection, of course. Nevertheless, my boys exist to make fart jokes, play with their penises, and punch one another. That’s pretty much it. I absolutely worship the ground those boys walk on, but they are definitely less than stellar examples of cooperative, helpful children. Sophie is the one child who I can always count on to help with any and every task I attempt to complete. She helps me cook. She helps me set the table. She helps me plant flowers and rake the yard. She helps me clean, and shop, and keep the boys in line. Her “help” is sometimes more of a hindrance, but she always tries. Honestly, she often drives me crazy. She pushes my buttons. She is bossy and sassy and brazen. But when push comes to shove, she is the one and only one of my children who will step up and help momma out. This afternoon, I left the boys downstairs watching cartoons while I went upstairs to fold two monstrous, overflowing baskets of laundry. My daughter, in typical Sophie fashion, followed me upstairs to help. And help me, she actually did.

In my family, Ruanita and I divide laundry chores. She washes the laundry, and I fold it and put it away.  No matter how many times I have “mentioned” it to them, every member of my family takes their clothes off and throws them in the laundry hamper inside out. Ruanita washes them inside out. And of course, when I go to fold them, they are all still inside out. This irks me to no end because, with the exception of my own clothing, I have to first turn all of the shirts and pants—even socks and underwear—right-side out before I can fold them. This basically doubles the length of time it takes me to fold laundry. Of course, I cannot complain too vehemently unless I want to end up being the one washing and folding all of the laundry. So I simply curse them all silently every time I pull a shirt out of the basket inside out.

Sophie, being the  helpful little girl she is, stood at the foot of my bed this afternoon and turned all of the clothes right-side out so I could fold them. She kept up with me the entire way, righting all of the clothing, then handing it to me to fold. We turned on the iPod and we sang and we danced. Sophie was a precious sight to behold singing Katy Perry at the top of her lungs and shaking her little hips as she helped me fold clothes. And, surprisingly, she had stamina beyond her four years. She stayed upstairs with me the entire time until every last article of clothing was folded and put away neatly in its proper drawer. The boys would occasionally stroll upstairs, but as soon as I asked them if they wanted to help, they immediately ran downstairs and parked themselves in front of the television again. Useless little punks. Perfectly adorable and loveable and absolutely tremendous little boys, but useless nonetheless.

I adore my daughter. It took a couple gargantuan baskets of laundry to make me come to a  transcendental realization today, but now I have no doubt. As long as I live—regardless of how much we aggravate and exasperate one another—I will always be able to count on that girl. My grandmother depended on her daughters. My mom can always count on me. And I will always have Sophie. Daughters are the bedrock of civilization. And I cherish mine.


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