Slept at my parents’ house last night. Had an overnight bag with a few pairs of pants and a few tops that needed laundering. At about 7:30, after my siblings and their families had left, I announced I had a load of wash to do.

My mother, not the most spry woman on the planet. sprung off the couch with a smile on her face. “You do?” she asked, hardly containing her excitement. The next thing I knew she was filling the washing machine as I gathered the clothes. And she was already going to town pretreating a small stain on my brown turtleneck that was giving me trouble.

“OK, put them in,” she said, way too excited for me.

I opened the lid and dumped the dark clothes in.

“Mother, did you put warm water in here again?” I said.

“No! It’s cold.”

“It’s not cold.”

“Feel it. Go ahead. Feel it.”

“Fine. I believe you. All I know is my clothes last a long time because I wash them with cold water,” I said.

“That’s why you have a hard time getting stains out,” she said.

It was a parting shot as she left the room.

This is our dance.