What Matters Most

What Matters Most
Andie's Baptism

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Just when you think you've got it all figured out

So- I've been feeling pretty good about stuff. Susie came home from outdoor school last week- with no voice and with clothes covered in mud and permanent marker, but delighted with her experiences. Now, outdoor school, for those of you who don't know, is one of those 6th grade sleep-away camps that is supposedly educational. Kenny didn't want to go when he was in 6th grade, so he didn't. Susie, of course, did. And had a lovely time.
So, getting ready for this experience was quite a chore. There were lists and more lists of "must have" items. I tried to encourage the packing of items that she/I wouldn't be too upset about if they got ruined. I think, however, that in her mind, packing was less about being practical than about how she would look when she got there. This was clearly evidenced when I asked her if she brought extra shoes. Her answer "Yep, I have my boots, my tennis shoes, a pair of flip flops and my flats." Yeah, flats will come in handy in the mud.
So anyway, with one teenager in the house, and everyone's favorite preteen, the question for me is often "Am I really teaching them all that they need to know?" Last Sunday, my Dad (who happens to be the high- counselor assigned to our ward) gave a talk that I found immensely helpful. The gist of was this- if you want to raise kids who are firmly rooted in the gospel, it is not only church activity that is important, but what they do with the approximately 80 percent of their time that is not taken up with church related activities. He concluded that the only two things that the scriptures emphasize repeatedly is learning to learn, and learning to work. Ergo, while some down time is desirable, a good portion of my children's time ought to be filled with these two types of activities. This got me thinking, and gave us some good fodder for family night on Monday, and all in all, I've been feeling pretty on top of things (getting my laundry done, too!)
They never let you feel that way for long. Susie came in to my room this morning (15 minutes before she needed to be at the bus) and informed me that she has no tennis shoes, because she ruined hers at outdoor school. By ruined, she means got them very wet and muddy. So she threw them away. And the garbage man came yesterday, so they are gone gone. Today she has a jog-a-thon at school. She's wearing flip flops. And this is somehow my fault. Add this to my great list of sins (which includes not getting her a cell-phone).
I suggested that perhaps, she might still have shoes if she had agreed to take an old grubby pair of Kenny's to outdoor school. I suggested that perhaps, we could have washed and dried her tennis shoes before assuming they were ruined and tossing them out. I suggested that, if she had not spent all of her allowance for the last 2 months on tank tops, flip flops (bear in mind that it's been in the 40s here all week), and candy bars, she might be able to buy herself some new shoes. But alas, it fell on deaf ears, and once again, I have been relegated to the status of crappy mother- insightful revelations and laundry notwithstanding.


Rich & Andrea said...

Hey Meggle - That sounds like a typical Susie morning. Sorry if she ruined your day. Hey why don't you try reading a little non-fiction, you know - "learning to learn." - your secret admirer.

cclegg94 said...

Ok - just wanted to make sure that you knew that the 1st comment was not from Andrea (I mean, who else calls you Meggle)

Cami said...

This totally cracks me up! I have now had at least 3 conversations just like this with Avory about things she ruined at Outdoor school. It also, is all my fault. Let us just glory in the fact that our teenagers hate us. We should start a club, called the Bad Mom Group, and get shirts to wear around them when we got out! Then we would really feel the love!

Rich & Andrea said...

Are you ever going to update your blog...hasn't susie been home from outdoor school for like a year?