It’s confirmed: I’m hopeless. And my “beta mom” cover isn’t going to work this time. I am simply a disorganized mess when it comes to remembering things that step outside my normal routine, which is meagre at best and can hardly be deemed a routine to begin with.
Today, for my son’s class picnic, I was in charge of bringing juice boxes, and well, suffice it to say, I completely failed 27 3rd graders and worse yet 2 room moms who assigned me the job.
The fact that I added an extra 27 juice boxes to my daughter’s picnic today was little solace considering another mom who was amply prepared for her role as refreshment provider did not fail to come through. Her mega cooler on wheels full of ice and drinks said, “I’ve been ready and waiting for this moment all week” while my little cooler full of warm Capri Sun and 3 gel ice packs I dug out of the freezer 3 minutes before leaving said, “I am not only an after thought in this whole event, I do not even know where I am going.”
So finally, after one long year of juggling my own school deadlines with the neverending demands of a public school sytem located in the heart of modern day Maybury, it is official. I may never get my act together after all. I have tried, God knows I have. My intentions are completely honorable. But somewhere between intent and delivery, something goes wonky in my head that renders me incapable of knowing the precise day and time those juice boxes are to arrive at school. I can post notes. I can make mental notes. I can leave them on the counter and even be reminded by helpful moms who know me well, but somewhere in the great abyss of my mind, all the craziness and busyness happening “in the now” seems to take precedence over worries about juice boxes assigned to me 3 weeks ago for the picnic on Thursday.
Negligent, I know. Careless, yes indeed. Lazy, so it seems. But the truth is, with a family of three children, my “in the now” moments never seem to let up. There never seems to be a moment to exhale. The mere presence of my children are a distraction to my thoughts. I am like a computer with every window open, and laboring to run efficiently because I am bogged down by the bits and parts of everything I am trying to accomplish. In a one hour block of time, I may be juggling unloading groceries, unloading a dishwasher, switching laundry, sweeping the dirt the dog tracked in, fielding phone calls and organizing playdates, starting dinner, and preventing my kids from staving off their hunger with cookies an hour before we eat. The damn juice boxes will not be getting much attention amidst the clamor of life here in this house.
Finally, I stopped asking myself why. Why can’t I get it together? Why can other moms get it all done with time for pedis to spare? Why can’t I be more like them? What is wrong with me?
I no longer ponder this mystery about myself. I no longer compare my inadequacies to women with blackberries and day planners and juice box prowess. I no longer care so much what the “good moms” think of me either.
And no matter how many items are left on the sign up sheet, I will no longer be adding my name.
Loading up 6 kids in my van and driving to the field trip is less for me to think about. It may eat up three hours of my day and frazzle my nerves a bit, but for me, it’s still more practical than stepping out of the moment and into next week. And strangely, it feels far more rewarding.
I’m afraid all my life may ever really be is a series of “here and now” moments that eventually add up to the sum of us. I’m sorry room moms, it’s the best I can do. I’m sorry teachers, I have tried for years. I’m sorry kids, you’ll not be getting any juice boxes from the likes of me.
But no matter what, no matter where and no matter when, you will always get all of ME!