Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Describing Our Life: Not Organized

Today I took Emily to the chiropractor. She's been going there for about six months or so. I really like these folks. They figured out quite early on that we are a forgetful group, and they seem to have other clients like this, because they have it set up to send an email reminder the day before the next appointment. I said that is great, and Emily interjected that yes, we would call our lives unorganized.

I bring that up because with the beginning of a new school year, you always see those articles in the newspaper and parenting magazines on "how to organize your kids, all their papers they bring home, and all the shoes, jackets, backpacks, and other junk." As if we can't figure this out for ourselves. Come on. Write something we can really use like "Ten Ways to Avoid Making Lunches." Or "The Lazy Mom's Guide to Alarm Clocks."

I mean, really. I read an article last week about how you should make school lunches the night before to avoid the mad rush in the morning. Wow--that's news to me! No one's ever written about THAT before. Sheesh. How original. (Okay, did I mention, sarcasm is my second language?)

My main point about this--well really I have two main points. First, don't these writers realize that evenings have their own set of chaotic issues, so it's not really less harried to make a lunch at night than in the morning? Do they HAVE kids? Really.

Second, and more importantly in my mind, kids should be making their own lunches--or learn to eat the school lunch.

The reason I say this is that I'm the laziest mom in the world. I'm pretty sure of that, although I'm too lazy to do any research to verify it. My kids have eaten school lunch since early on--mostly because they don't really feel like making their own lame sandwiches. I'm not about to get up and make lame sandwiches for them, so it's up to them. They haven't starved even one day in their lives. (Granted, school lunches are a lot better than when I was growing up.)

And I resent the idea that if I'm not organized or don't make lunches for my kids that I somehow don't measure up. My kids are the smartest ones in their classes. (Okay, I haven't researched that either, but let's just go with it.) They grow, they have energy, they have friends. Very important: they don't get in trouble with drugs, alcohol, or other stuff we don't want them to do. I won't go into details. You know what I mean.

And why is that? Even though I'm the laziest mom in the world, I am by far the most approachable and a great listener. My children can--and do--talk to me about anything. ANYTHING. And they know it.

But really, the way I look at it, I'm the best mom in the world. My hands-off approach has worked well. My kids all do their own laundry and have since about age 9 or so. They can manage to feed themselves if they don't like what I prepare for dinner--which I only do because I want dinner. They never like what I make, so I learned long ago not to sweat it--they can make their own.

I'm raising self-sufficient beings who can manage on their own. They won't be the ones at college who have never seen the working end of a washing machine or who can't make it to class on time unless their mom texts them a wake-up call. Melissa's freshman year roommate's mom, on the other hand, just told her to send all her clothes to the dry cleaners so she didn't have to worry about washing them. As if tuition isn't expensive enough!

So this is just to say that our life is not organized. We, or at least I, tend to go with the flow. Work with what I've got.

That means if you visit us at home, there might still be boxes stacked in the dining room that were there several months ago because we haven't gotten around to putting them away yet. Or that there might be as much dog hair on the floor as on the dogs. (Sorry--here's the lint roller.) Or the luggage from our last trip is still sitting in the hall. On the other hand, we're probably having a grand rousing game of Trivial Pursuit, reading a book, or writing one of several books. It may be unorganized, but you know--chaos is the natural state of the universe.

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