by Jonathan Wright
My bed is made.
You can count on it.
The world may be falling in around me, all the forces of evil may be fiercely aimed against me, and I may be poised at the edge of the proverbial precarious precipice—but one thing is sure: my bed is made.
On this Mother’s Day weekend 2014, I honor my wonderful mother for many, many things she’s contributed to my life, most of which are of profound significance. But one particular item comes to mind frequently on mornings as I arise from sleep to quickly prepare for a new day.
As I pull the sheet and blanket of my bed up to smooth them out and tuck them in afresh, then place the pillows back in an orderly position where they belong, I’m reminded that I’m perfunctorily performing a task that was engrained in me decades ago by my wonderful mother.
As a boy, I was expected to make my bed each morning before heading off to school or play. I can’t say I specifically remember my first lesson in bed-making; I’ve been doing it so long now that it just seems that I’ve always known how.
To tell you the truth, I don’t think Mother ever had to scold me into completing this task. It just came naturally. It’s never been something I’ve had to ponder or make myself remember.
Probably it’s because I’m a person of order. That’s not to say that I don’t have some clutter around my home. I’ll get to it one of these days, you know.
But one thing I won’t tolerate is a messy, unmade bed. While other items may be untended for a while, at least I don’t have a messy bed to compound it all. Perhaps its symbolic sense of order in the midst of disorder is what makes it an indispensable item in my life.
There’s also the advantage for the infrequent times when we have visitors who might wander upstairs to the bedrooms. Who wants to show off a bedroom with an unmade bed?
Not me. After all, I have a reputation to protect. Being perceived as an unorganized, messy person is a prospect worth avoiding at all costs.
My mother apparently knew what she was doing in teaching me and subsequently expecting me to make my bed every morning. It’s a practical habit that has stuck with me to this day, one of many valuable habits she infused me with that have stood the test of time.
So regardless of how quickly I have to get out of bed and get ready to face the day with its whirlwind of activities and responsibilities, regardless of how good or bad I feel or how many more “important” matters I have to tend to before heading out the front door, there’s always and forever time to do the bare minimum: make my bed.
Happy Mother’s Day.