Yesterday, one of our sons was late to work. He neglected to follow the advice – no, the law – I have given him and his brothers from the time they were in Kindergarten. “Get your stuff out the night before.” My son waited until one hour before he was supposed to start waiting tables to look for his work shirt. When he found it, it was in the bottom of the laundry with ink stains, and had to be washed, dried and ironed. He was highly frustrated, but had the grace to tell me, “It’s not your problem.”
He’s darn tootin’ it wasn’t my problem. I have told them until I’m blue in the face. Get out your socks, your shoes, your shin guards, your index cards, your lunch money, your underwear and for Heaven’s sake your Pomodoro’s Italian Restaurant work shirt the night before! If you do, we’ll all work together to find whatever is missing, dirty, or yet unpurchased. If you wait until the morning – well, “It’s not my problem.”
My boys have gone to school without coats, missing projects, wearing dirty socks and/or borrowed underwear, simply because they didn’t plan the night before. I’m not trying to be unmerciful.* I’m just trying to get my boys prepared for life. So that maybe, just maybe, when they grow up, they won’t be late to work because their uniform is dirty. Or, maybe they will be.
But at least I can say, “It’s not my problem.” And then wallow in mounds of guilt, while still knowing I’m teaching a life lesson by not being a helicopter parent…
*Disclaimer: Actually, being unmerciful doesn’t require effort on my part, I’m sorry to say. My boys have accused me of having the gift of no mercy. So I am happy to report that I did participate in the discovery and cleaning of the errant shirt. Or my son would have been a whole lot later than he already was. I get a nice mommy award.
One of the things that actually woke Ron and Ash up for school and work was the Sonic Alert SBJ525ss Sonic Bomb Clock. It’s loud, it’s persistent. It worked for them.