Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Rude Awakening


Yesterday my dear husband took care of my paper route for me. When he volunteered to do so, I quickly fell back into a nearly comatose slumber and did not surface again until 6:58 when I heard my almost 10-year-old son's desperate cry, "Mom, have you seen my Scout shirt?" Talk about a rude awakening...

As a matter of fact--yes, I HAD seen his Scout shirt. He wore it on Thursday (two days prior) to his den meeting. As I recall, he had a hard time finding it then too. When he came home from Scouts that day, he put his shirt on the kitchen table and immediately went about the business of finding something to eat. Later, either before or after dinner, I asked him to put it away... NOW. He immediately picked it up and walked out of the kitchen. I had high (albeit unfounded) hopes.

"Put away" obviously changes meaning from one generation to the next. I am only beginning to understand this. My generation would not have been searching frantically for their Scout shirts two minutes before they are supposed to be at their meeting point for a Webelos Day Camp. My son's generation seems to prefer living on the edge... the very edge.

Even as I was rushing and ranting and looking for his Scout shirt, I was desperately trying to remind myself, "This is not your problem. Do not make this your problem. He didn't put his shirt away. He never puts his shirt away. Do not make this your problem." No doubt this is the mantra repeated at the weekly meetings for Mothers of Losers Anonymous. (No, I am most certainly not calling my son a "loser" except in the most literal sense of the word.)

My favorite "loss" is that of THE important paper that needs my signature. Right now. Or actually five minutes ago, because somebody is going to be late. Never mind that it was handed out over a week ago.

"Have I seen it? Probably. It was yellow? Well, I HAVE seen a yellow paper--or ten. Could it have been among the 97 stray sheets scattered around the office floor looking like they "just missed" their wastebasket destination?"

A sigh.

Oh--then maybe I haven't seen it.

Seven o'clock. "They are going to leave without you if you don't just go. WEAR SOMETHING ELSE--YOU HAVE GOT TO GO!"

What I meant was, "Why don't you wear something else. You really ought to get going."

Note to self: Remember--this is not your problem?

He rushes downstairs to find "something else," and I stroll into the office and spy something behind the wooden trunk. Something blue. I pick it up. I walk downstairs.

"Oh, NOW you remember what "put away" means... Would that be for your generation or for mine?"

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