For years, I’ve been my own worst nag about keeping clutter cleaned up. Now mind you, I will take all credit for personally birthing eleven — yes, your heard it right — eleven kids, and I gave birth in succession similar to a machine gun. One right after the other! No breaks long enough to even catch my breath, let alone clean the clutter that came with each new child.
Fast forward to the point where I am in my life right now. I’m down to one child living at home. Life today is nothing in comparison to the days back when the washing machine was my closest love and companion. When the washing machine broke down, so did I!
As I’m tackling cleaning each and every space in my home now that the kids have cleared out, my eyes are enlightened more and more about who I am. I’m not a hoarder in the sense of keeping things so cluttered that you can’t move. But, I’ve been a saver of things. Many of my saved things have emotional attachment such as kids’ report cards, letters they’ve written to me, some articles of clothing. Actually, I’m finding I’m no different than any other parent in that respect.
Until…….I hit the kitchen! Today, I think I came across at least ten thousand pieces of plastic serving pieces! Yes, you read correctly. Those little plastic knives, forks, and spoons that you use when you don’t want to use your “good silverware” (of which I have none). Why? Why have I saved so much of that plastic stuff? Add to that at least two hundred fifty plastic food containers, most of them without lids. What was I thinking? Why didn’t I at least stuff some fun things into that cupboard space like cookie tins and funny mugs and stuff that would at least have made me smile? Plasticware? You’ve got to be kidding!!!
After two hours of sorting through the “keep” pile and the “throw away” pile, I finally figured it out. My kids were forever fighting over food. Food was not a staple while they were growing up. Food was something that they fought for! There was only so much to go around and if the cooked food didn’t make it to your plate, you were out of luck. You were the one that got peanut butter, a piece of bread and some watered-down powdered milk.
Suddenly, as I was looking at those thousands of plastic forks, a light went on! I saved all of that plastic stuff because I was a good mom. No, I take that back. I was an AWESOME mom! I wanted to give my kids a fair shake at getting their portion of food. I’d lay out the plastic stuff, we’d always take the time to say a prayer of thanks, and then they’d grab their utensils and run for the food! See? I was helping them get a good start in the food line. I never wanted to run out of the necessary items! I wanted to give each kid equality in the food line!
Ahhh…I’m so glad to have solved that mystery today or that would have plagued me for years to come!
Clara , the very good mom
PS The truth of the matter is that my brain was so fried from having all of those kids that I forgot what I bought, and just kept on stashing the things I knew we’d need so I didn’t have to separate kids from extra fist fights, hear any more outlandish crying, or see blood pouring out on the food because somebody didn’t get a fork. Eh…any way you look at it, maybe I was an okay mom.
Anybody need some extra plastic stuff? I’ve got tons!