Making my bed, Wellfleet, Mother’s Day 2011, I tucked hospital corners into white cotton sheets — just as my mother taught me. I folded an ancient Hudson’s Bay four-point blanket in half, smoothing it to rest between sheets and duvet, to keep me warm on my side of the bed. I first slept under that blanket in 1986 in a bed my mother-in-law made in Taos, New Mexico. It came to me, here in Massachusetts, when my father-in-law sold the house that held that bed. I fluffed the duvet in its clean cover this morning, grabbing two corners, following my sister-in-law Katherine’s instructions. I arranged pillows in their soap-smelling cases, wondering who next would rest here — my husband? I? guests?
To all the mothers who have taught me to make beds, meals, homes for myself and my family: a wish that wherever you are, you can feel my gratitude.
To all the young mothers who make beds: a wish that there will be a time — it’s not here, not yet — when you get to make your own bed and sleep in it, without interruption.