MY DAY: The crooked piping

Mother taught me basic chores long before starting kindergarten and for that I shall always be grateful.

Grandpa Leroy always celebrated our graduation from the thrice used baby bed with a brand new big boy/girl twin bed. Somewhere, I still have the photograph of my own transition from crib-bed to full twin bed. Grandpa even made sure my own sons, adopted at age 12, were set with their own “big boy beds.” He purchased four beds and frames, even when I insisted I was only adopting one child.

He laughed.

He knew.

My first twin bed had light blue sheets and pillow cases to showcase the toile bedspread and curtains with scenes of US History. I loved this set and often laid on the cover to search details of the various historic scenes.

“Now, this line of material is called “piping” and it’s kind of like a guide to make the cover straight,” Mother pointed out as she showed me how to straighten the piping that ran the full shape of the twin bed’s design.

The next few mornings, Mother assisted me in making my bed, always giving me the lead.

One morning, it was my turn to do it all by myself.

“Now, remember what I said about the piping?”

I made a few adjustments.

“Hows that?”

I’m sure the piping’s designed placement, framing the top edges of the mattress, was was no where close to being straight but I do not recall Mother ever making any adjustments. I still was a bit uncertain of the piping’s purpose.

Every morning, Mother would enter my room for inspection, mainly to assure the bed was made, items retrieved from the floor and put away, and any clean clothes were put away. I don’t ever recall Mother giving a short tug at the bed spread to straighten the crooked piping.

I’ve oft seen memes of haphazardly loaded dishwashers that would drive a perfectionist to tears.

Mother was an organized perfectionist, but when it came to training her children and grandchildren at younger ages, she made allowances. I loved watching her with my sister’s young sons, Jonathan and Andrew, as well as my sons who were slightly older. Jonathan lived with Autism, my sons each arrived straight out of foster care, and Andrew… well, he had bright red hair. Mother always had the right amount of patience and creativity in dealing with each grandson.

However, as us children grew older, she would gradually tightened the grip in our training.


I teach “process” to my students. I think I see the link to my own training from Mother. Step by step.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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