I Sat In the Dark
“I’ll take care of it. Don’t worry!”
That’s what I always say, always do, and I know I am not the only mom/wife who says these words. Sometimes, wait, most of the time, it is just easier to do it yourself than ask, teach, accept the help and then have to either grin through the debacle or do it over again because it isn’t the way you like it.
Dishwasher: tall glasses go on the outside edges. Coffee mugs in the next row inside. Small plates standing up in the center. As to silverware, who’s to know. The debate rages but you definitely have to clean the gunk off before putting it into the machine.
Set the table: fork on the left atop the napkin, plate in the center. Knife to the right and then the spoon. Glass above the knife. Family dinner ready to go.
Clean the table: not with the dirty sponge. Break out the paper towels and glass cleaner please.
Put your clothes away: hang clothes on hangars, FOLD clothes before putting it in the drawer, put shoes away in the closet, not shoved under the bed. And toys…. not thrown into the bottom of the closet but back in the boxes with all the pieces accounted for.
Feed and walk the dog: this is a critical timing issue and if not done on schedule, it always leads to a second chore. Cleaning up the mess! Delegate?? Have to….
And the list can go on and on. So from chores to homework to taking responsibility for their destiny, I grudgingly removed the monkey off my back and passed it to the one who should be carrying it. It takes practice, persistence and acceptance of sub-par for a while.
When my kids were younger and through high school, I practiced purposeful abandonment… so to speak. Help me with my homework!! It’s your homework. Help me with this group project! It’s your group project. Help me with this college app! It’s your college app. I don’t have enough time to do everything! Find it. I need money to go on this trip! Earn it.
Well, I wasn’t really that tough, but I definitely shifted the burden of responsibility to the appropriate back. I had already gone to school. I had already applied to college. It was their turn.
And it worked! Three young men, independent, productive and thankful. And yet, when it came to the chore of changing the light bulbs (and I was not going to do it)…..
I sat in the dark…..