Friday, August 28, 2009

You're doing it wrong.

This is the pick up line at my sons' school. It is what is commonly known as a "circle drive." The procedure is simple -- you drive in and follow the curve. When you reach the front of the school, your kids hop in. You drive away.

How hard can it be?

Apparently agonizingly difficult for some parents. Parents who have no clue how to drive in, pick up kids and drive away. See the guy standing in the circle? Yeah... he does the whole arm wave thing at us as we drive up. Like, if he wasn't standing there, we'd all just sit dumbly in our cars and wonder how we'd ever reach our kids. I asked my boys the other day who he was... thinking maybe he's a teacher who volunteers to be "Traffic Control." They have no idea who he is. This makes me pretty sure he's actually from the school transportation office. Whether or not he was hired specifically to herd parents through a circle drive is unclear. I only know right about now, even I would like to have his job.

Regardless, each and every day since the first day of school... every time I drop off or pick up the kids I see the scene from "Mr. Mom" in my head. When Michael Keaton has to do the school drop off and fails miserably.

"You're doing it wrong."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Embrace the chaos...

Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

Let me begin by admitting and owning the fact that I don't do chaos well. Not. At. All. I am a planner by nature, and prefer things neat, orderly and in their respective places. I like to have a solid grasp on a situation before plunging head-first into it. That being said, I do appreciate spontaneity every once in a while. As in, "Hey, let's go get frozen yogurt." Or deciding to make a batch of chocolate chip cookies in the middle of the evening, before the kids' bedtime.

Lately, our entire home seems to have spun into a chaotic whirlwind of remodeling. This? I absolutely love -- especially when I am able to help. (Read: I am an HGTV junkie.) But after swapping the boys' bedrooms a couple of days ago, I'm finding stuffed animals in the strangest places. And young boys' underwear strewn from room to room... to bathroom. And socks. Oh, the socks. They're everywhere. If it were the middle of summer, and the kids had nothing to do but step into swim shorts and go to the pool, that would be one thing. But school has begun. That means each morning we have a limited amount of time to locate shirts, shorts, socks -- CLEAN socks -- and shoes. And book bags that may or may not have been eaten by something crawling through their bedroom during the night.

I have taken to deep breathing to get me through the anxiety of not knowing where something may have been placed. Or looking around and seeing that things are, clearly, not in their respective places. But you know what? This chaos in which I currently find myself treading water would have put me over the edge not long ago. Now, I can take it... for whatever reason... however it happened, I can take it.

I know that when all is said and done, when the last of the remodeling and spiffing up is done -- when the last displaced item is back in its respective place, it's totally going to be worth it. Our home is wonderful. We love it, and we are working to put our personal style front and center. And even though I am using "we," I have to admit, it's all pretty much Jeff. He has shown he goes far beyond simply being "handy." He is awesome. The things he knows and the experience he's had are serving this home of ours well. And I couldn't be more proud. So, even on days like today, when he's back-and-forth between ongoing projects... and some turn out to be a bit more involved or complicated than at first glance, I love him even more for what he's doing here; for putting forth all his extra effort and energy to make our house into OUR HOME, when neither one of us really has much extra effort and energy to give. He is a perfectionist and likes to see a project completed -- and not just completed, but done to his specifications and standards.

So, for him doing the best he can on his part, I am doing the best I can on my part. Embracing the chaos. Deep breath in. Deep breath out...