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Local

Tales From the Motherhood: The price of organization is frustration

Prep for a party displaces some prized positions

What do you do when the spirit moves your kid to tackle spring cleaning? You shut up and get out of the way, that’s what. But wait, “Where are my acorns?” I asked, perplexed, when I couldn’t find the sparkly decorative acorns that had been resting in a bowl in the dining room for months. That I love, that I picked up at a chic antiques store, the only thing I spotted there that fit in the budget. I’m sure I sounded like a squirrel. Where are my nuts? 

“You’re killing me, Smalls,” Holly said.

My kids are in the habit of quoting this line from the movie “Sandlot” whenever they become frustrated with my chronic cluelessness. I admit I don’t hate it. I’ve decided it’s a sign of affection.

“I moved them,” she said. "They’re ugly. I almost threw them away.”

Whaaa?

“My party, my way,” she added.

Phooey. Affection, my foot. But true, I did say she could do whatever she wanted to get ready for her party. (She’s 17, and even went to her first high school prom recently. How did this happen?!) Nothing was spared. Not the cupboards, not the closets, and not even me. She wanted everything to be perfect.

“You can come down, but not at first. You’re weird around people.”

Haha! That whole “Hello, how are you doing?” thing? Yeah, that IS weird. I get it. I kept my giggles to myself, though, because I really do get it.

To make matters worse, I’m a therapist – and everybody knows therapists have X-ray vision and can read minds. Oh, and can plumb the depths of unsuspecting souls at 10 paces, right? Ooh, not so much. Let’s just say I’m lucky if my socks match. Bring on the summer weather! That’s when I shine! But I digress.

As for the hope that I’d stay upstairs, well, I mostly behaved. I’ve got a job to do, after all, and I take getting to know my kids’ friends very seriously. You know, parenting and all that. Interior design, though? Have at it, Holl. 

“But hey, Where’s my chair, huh?” I asked as I scanned the horizon – and the curb – for my celery green wicker chair, which has occupied the sunny corner in our kitchen ever since Holly and I rescued it from the curb of a swanky neighborhood in Barrington four or five years ago after one of her soccer games. She pointed downward toward the basement. Gah! Banished to the basement? My second-favorite chair? (My first-favorite chair, also a curb find, passed muster, apparently, and sat proudly in its new spot in the corner of the kitchen. With a throw pillow positioned just so; the cat already snoozing on the seat. Wow! Traitors, both of them. “Really? I know, I know, your party, your way.”

Small price to pay for organized cupboards and closets. Now where are those acorns?

Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her family. Her column runs regularly in the Kane Weekend section of the Kane County Chronicle. Contact her at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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