Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I learned a few things from my kids on Sunday.

#1 If you wear happy colors on Monday, the week is a bit more cheerful. (
How long has Tony been wearing a bright yellow shirt on Mondays?)

#2 You should hide your bangs when you go to sleep so they don't get ruined by morning. (Anyone get that? Help me out here)

and my favorite:

#3 Being perfect is no fun.

Ok, here's the story... Since I started teaching two years ago, I've been even more behind in anything there is to be behind in than ever before. This is frightening because I've been behind all my life. I decided my older boys needed to learn to do their own laundry. We would have our own laundry days. I would help them but I would no longer have the overwhelming heaps that accumulate with a family of six. I was sure my life would be back to being normally behind instead of over-the-top behind.

Here's a shocker: It's not working so great. Instead of laundry backed up in just one room, there are heaps and heaps in every room. Laundry is taking over the house. We ignore our "day" and wait until we cannot wait any longer and then we all fight for the washer.

So, on Sunday morning, one of my kids (for whom I am still doing laundry) asks for clean underclothes. "Oh, they must be in this pile of clean stuff... Hang on, let me look," I say. But no, there is not one pair of clean shorts for him. The panic turns to dispair as I think of the much rehearsed verse from David O. McKay "No success can compensate for failure in the home." I have failed my family. I mutter outloud as I'm searching for clean boxers, "I've failed! In the most important thing... Who cares if I'm a good teacher. My kid has no clean underwear for church... I bet sister so-and-so has clean underwear on all her children for church. I bet the other sister so-and-so's children don't know what dirty underwear is and the other sister so-and-so's kids have never seen a pile of laundry and don't know what the word "heap" means..." On and on I went with my hopeless, despairing mumblings.

Who knew my oldest son was listening. He said, "It's not that bad, mom. You aren't a failure. Who cares if those people are perfect. That's no fun. I mean, really, do you think it would be any fun to be perfect?" 'Oh sure' I think, 'easy for you to say, your underwear is clean'. I complained that I just can't measure up to all those great moms out there. 'Failure in the home' is written on my forehead. Who can bear to associate with someone who fails in their home? With more wisdom than I give a 14 year old credit for, he said, "If anyone looks down on you for not measuring up, they aren't perfect, are they? That's pride. You can't have pride and be perfect."

Then he was gone.

I stood in between my heap of dirty darks and clean whites with my face as puzzled as the Grinch's when Christmas came just the same.

Having never experienced perfection, I don't know if it's fun or not. I think it would relieve a heap of stress. I continue my quest for perfection, thankful to have amazing children who are my teachers.

I'm happy to say that the following day, Monday, we all wore cheerful colors, everyone had clean laundry put away, we went ice skating and our bangs looked fabulous. Although we are not perfect, we had a perfect day.


Cheryl said...

I love you and your children - shortcomings and all. You make me see life in a much more realistic, appreciative fashion. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Emmalee said...

You are so amazing. I miss your spirit. You have to be doing something right if you have children with such great insight.

Mindy said...

Its nice to know that I am not the only one with rough days. I love reading your blog. And I love your adorable family.