I don’t like housework. I’m somewhat insecure about my housekeeping skills. Some people are natural home makers. I like a clean space as much as anyone but the cleaning gene isn’t expressed in my DNA and Lysol does not run through my veins. (but how cool would that be? Ha ha infection! Take THAT!) Dishes are the bane of my existence. I have one sink- so if the dairy dishes aren’t clean by noon they inevitably wind up lined up on the kitchen window sill like a row of greasy porcelain duckies. Quack. Sad but true: I’ve been known to hide dirty coffee mugs behind the toaster oven before guests visit on Shabbos afternoon. Every frum woman finds herself keeping house sooner or later. You can run for a while but that pile of dirty laundry always catches up with you. I’m writing at 9:45 pm surrounded by strewn magazines, a pile of randomness litters my dining room table(the iron out of baby’s reach, a box of clothes to be returned to banana republic, two folded tablecloths, sukkah decorations) and the ironing board is open- ready for G-d knows what- since I don’t have the slightest intention of ironing. But I do iron. Every week, I iron leggings ,jeggings and leopard print onesies. I’m probably one of the five people on earth who still irons. The big joke is- I’m not even good at it! I think it’s the symbolism of the act of ironing- my house may be a mortal wreck, but if I iron- then I’m geshikt. My mother isn’t known for her housekeeping but she can iron. That she can do. And she stresses it. It’s a way for her to show love. I grew up in Brooklyn- and in my school in Brooklyn, in the 1990s everyone was starched. Everyone had creases running down their uniform sleeves and collars that stood up. You could cut your finger on those pleated plaid skirts. The under-ironed girls were also the under-brushed ones, the under-washed ones- and it stood to reason- the under-loved ones. That’’s why I iron my daughter’s onesies. It’s why I dressed her in a fresh outfit and meticulously cleaned her face before I took her to the JCC babysitter for the first time. I do this because I love her. And I want everyone to know when they see her: This is a loved child.