Our couch has endured sleeping, chocolate, pizza sauce, snow, mud, cats, kids, and more.
It’s more than one couch. Our couches have more incarnations than The Doctor. They endure everything short of locusts, by all accounts. The damn thing will stay until it collapses on itself like that house at the end of Poltergeist.
But, that’s how we do things.
We wear clothes until they fall off our shoulders. We squeeze every molecule of Polynesian dressing out of the tubs we procure from Chick-fil-A (they’re so friendly there, they don’t stop my girls from asking for 17 packets of sauce for a six-pack of nuggets.)
If you heard me driving Gabi recently – I thought my beloved Pontiac Grand-Am was destined fast for the scrap pile – you know I take the brake shoes right down to the screws.
I learned as a kid that Native Americans used every part of the buffalo they hunted. I loved that, even then. I’d keep Star Wars cards in my NFL lunchbox during the summer. I stored my Star Wars figures in cigar boxes and my cigars … well, I’ve never had cigars.
Nature vs. nurture?
Law and order pervade the balance I’ve wrangled with all my life.
It’s the order part I struggle with. I’m not always messy and cluttered. At points, I’m tidy as Seinfeld, with a car cleaned and vacuumed, a calendar neat and tidy, and even a keyboard (mostly) devoid of graham cracker crumbs. When I bring it, it’s brought.
Before it’s brought, oftentimes, it’s … rotten.
I’d need 10 10-minute tidies to even get to the neighborhood of chaos. My life is a series of deadlines and commitments from 6 a.m. to midnight, and beyond (it’s 12:10 a.m. at the time of this writing.) It’s a series of wins and losses, all with a common audience: my girls.
See, they’re affected and mixed in and operating on their own. Elise (mostly) keeps homework straight, with a layer of clean and dirty clothes covering all carpeted surfaces. Grace is much the same way. Both are artistic and free-minded types.
Marie’s the minimalist, in need of dresser and bed, mirror, and makeup, with furnishings right out of the David Thoreau school of minimalism. She’s most disturbed by the clutter of my car, yet most appreciative when she can find a sweatshirt or G2 in its midst.
As with most parental influence, where do the polarities of my chaos vs. calm existence impact my kids and the life choices they make?
When your life begins to make sense is when you get rid of the clutter and get a Michael Jackson outfit with some knee high black boots. 😉
— emily kraudel (@emilykraudel) November 18, 2015
A model of letting go
If there’s an idea that my girls can get new big-kid stuff, they’ll forsake even the most sentimental of toys. And you should see the price tags they put on them for yard sales. Out with the old, in with the new – cash only, please.
I dig that.
I dig that one girl slept with a soccer ball because she loved the game, and “it makes me think of daddy.” Or that another cuddles a bear named Daddy. I’d never admit it to her, but I’ve noticed the Rasta monkey I won for one is always in her bed.
As I work to dig out of my own prison of possessions, employing the KonMari Method along the way, I hope my girls see the pendulum swing for me away from hoarding and toward a better way to hold on. And let go.
I’m letting go of Starting Lineup figures and jerseys I don’t wear. I’m clearing space clogged by newspaper clippings and photo albums and knick-knacks that long ago lost shelf space (stuff referred to as komono in the KonMari Method.)
I’m a work in progress, and as such, I’m probably the best model for my kids possible. No, it’s not easy. No, it’s not helpless. There’s a little of each, and lot of the in-between. This goes for possessions, relationships, and dogmas, too.
Which, tonight could start with wrapping up this post, pulling on warm socks, and getting some sleep. If I could only find the socks.