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I love the smell of fresh laundry.

I love looking at my kids’ cute little clothes, and think happy thoughts about the little stinkers.

I hate actually doing the laundry.

Lately, laundry has brought me a new challenge — besides taking over my entire living room once a month.

As I sort through Z’s clothes, I mentally go through the list of what I’m sending with him when/if he goes home, and what I’ll keep.

And then I hug his clothes and cry.

I now cry almost every time I do laundry. I wonder about the day that I’ll be doing the last load of his clothes, and he will be gone. My arms will be empty again. I’ll just have some of his old clothes left here. The ones that I want to keep to remember him by. The clothes I will fold, and put away, and not have a reason to bring out again — other than to hug it and cry.

In 4 short weeks, we will know if the plan is to go home or to stay.

Z’s baby sister was born today. So the clock is ticking . . . how will mom do with a new baby? Will she be able to handle it, and then Baby Z, and then the other siblings?

Time is ticking. The clock is racing. And we’re getting closer to maybe saying good-bye, one laundry load at a time.