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Blue Shorts

Last spring, a mysterious pair of shorts came home in Quinn's backpack. This is a rare occurrence, but it's not the first time it's happened, and I suspect the longer my kids are in school, the more potential there is for mysterious objects to migrate to our home. I am usually obsessive about setting aside whatever the foreign object is, putting it into an old grocery sack or container, and putting it next to the front door or the kids' bags to make sure one of us remembers to return it to its place of origin like responsible, organized, conscientious citizens.

I'm finding, though, as my spoken intent to simplify our lives continues not to translate into actual physical actions that reflect that intent, when foreign objects enter the realm of the Fringe now, it's as if their fates are sealed: they've gone into a black hole, never to see the light of day or the fluorescent bulbs of the Mom's Day Out pre-school program, as the case may be. I refuse to accept the fact that our lives are indeed so out of control these days that we can't even manage to return a pair of old, pilly blue cotton spare shorts to our son's pre-school, where one of us has to go (usually John, but sometimes me) for drop-offs or pick-ups six times over the course of a week. My refusal to accept this absurdity has resulted in my moving these size 3T elastic-waisted shorts from the banister next to the front door, to the railing at the top of the stairs, to the top of Bryce's dresser, to the top of Quinn's dresser, BACK to the banister next to the front door, in subsequent identical cycles dozens of mind-numbing times over the past four months.

This weekend, John had one short assignment on Friday evening, and then we had Saturday and Sunday open. It was the last weekend with two non-scheduled days in a row that we'll have from now until Thanksgiving. And yet even with all that "extra" time, it was a constant scramble and attempt to catch up. Sadly, despite the mad dashes we made all weekend, very basic activities still didn't end up taking place. The laundry, grocery shopping, vacuuming, lawn mowing, and classmate birthday party attendance took up more time than we'd anticipated, and so the kitchen floor is still dirty, the bathroom still hasn't been cleaned, the mound of Bryce's new toys and games (recently acquired birthday gifts), while stacked and somewhat organized at the bottom of the stairs, still hasn't been taken up and put away in the varying assigned closet spaces that have meanwhile filled with things the kids have thrown there in their own five- and three-year-old attempts to clean up when I ask them to physically make them. The stray blue shorts, currently in the Bryce's Dresser Top phase of their black hole cycle, continue to beg and plead with me, continue to remind me with their homeless presence of everything I intend to do, but just can't seem to.

I think maybe I need to give myself permission to throw the damned things in the garbage.