First of all, thanks to all who commented on the last post. I responded to several of you there and would still love more ideas, so if you have anything to add that would be helpful.
There is an anecdote I read somewhere about Sister Hinckley that involves just about the best piece of advice a young woman could ever get. Her granddaughter was fretting a bit over what to study at university. Sister Hinckley told her to study anything but homemaking. When her granddaughter asked why, after all, it would likely be the most useful thing since she was really wanting to be a wife and a mother, the prophet's wife replied, "So that when you are doing the ironing you'll be able to think about something else." The granddaughter took the advice to heart and studied English literature. When she irons, she thinks of Shakespeare's sonnets and her grandmother.
I think that is really lovely.
Too often, stay-at-home-momming feels a bit like I've become a full-time expert at a lot of tasks I really hate. But tonight I had a moment of remembering who I was before all that.
While doing the dishes, I ran some water in a greasy pan I had tipped up slightly. The water pooled in the pan and the grease sat lightly on the top. I put a single drop of soap in the pan, but instead of scrubbing it into bubbles and watching them wash away quickly, I watched the drop of soap touch the edge of the greasy water and scatter the sheen from the top. For a moment I thought about the unique properties of water because of its chemical structure. I thought about surface tension and soap's ability to break that tension, allowing it to be effective against the grease. I thought about hydrophobic and hydrophillic molecules. I thought about the covalent bond that holds the amazing, simple, and perfect water molecule together.
Mostly I breathed a sigh of relief that such information--useless in many ways, but fascinating to me--still resides in my head; and that, perhaps more importantly, I can recall it.
So what fascinating thing do YOU think about when you do the dishes or the ironing or the laundry or the whatever household task needs imagination to get through?