Some days I feel like I can’t remember the most basic thing. I’m not talking about the endless looking for my reading glasses, leaving grocery lists at home, or keeping the kids schedule straight somehow. They invented apps for that, and mobile phones.
I’m talking about feeling so out of touch, frazzled, or exhausted that I have to pause momentarily to remember which side is left. Or to turn the stove off before leaving the house. Which incidentally happened to me last week, ironically because it was my teen who forgot something and asked me to bring it to school at lunch.
I got his text after my first bite of lunch, with some of the lunch still in the pan on the stove. I realize I didn’t have to do this for him, but I chose to. Forgetting to turn the stove off was not part of my plan, however…
It doesn’t happen often that I’m discombobulated (and by default, more forgetful than usual), but it does happen occasionally. Those are the days when I really should just go into the bedroom and stay there. They’re all old enough to know how not to starve to death or burn the house down. (Unlike me, but I digress…)
Being forgetful at times is normal, especially in today’s busy lifestyle. But it’s a different kind of forgetfulness than when I had toddlers and preschoolers. It’s not just that the kids are older, I’m older too. Funny how that happens… 🙂
Tween and teenagers are a whole other chapter in life. They are emerging as more independent than you’re used to and in some ways this is a wonderful experience for both the kids and the parents. For example, I left the 13yo at a local ball hockey tournament just now, after the second game, with food and drinks and money and friends, and came home to eat lunch by myself and type this post. You can’t really do that with busy 6 year olds…at least I couldn’t. Back then I had to solicit another parent to watch him while I went here or there for whatever reason, or plan not to be absent. In fact I don’t recall being absent for anything until they were well past the age of double digits…
The point is not that I can’t leave young kids, the point is, it’s easier with older kids and, what’s most important, they kinda like it, being on their own occasionally. 🙂
But forgetful….oh my. It was mind-boggling how much stuff my teen son and I forgot simultaneously throughout the week.
And then, Friday night happened:
Me: you have a baseball game tonight, we have to leave at 5:15 pm
Me: don’t forget a water bottle (because last time he drank MY water)
Him: ok (he’s already halfway down the stairs to play fortnite, only allowed between Fridays and Sundays)
Me: I’ll feed you dinner at 5, be ready.
Him: ok (this is how boys speak, apparently. Don’t ask me to explain this, he’s my first born…)
Five o’clock arrives and he shows up dressed in the correct uniform (he plays on two different teams). I smile to myself.
He eats, and gets his stuff together. I go sit in the car and he joins me a minute later.
Me: did you bring a water bottle?
So this is the second time I’m reminding him, right? I really shouldn’t keep repeating myself, but it’s hot and humid and the game is two hours long…and I can’t stay with MY water bottle because the other kid has a practice…
Him: oh, I left it on the counter.
He goes back in, comes back out with water bottle, and I start the car. We start driving. We’re about halfway there when he speaks again.
Him: do you know where my phone is.
We get to the ball park early. Traffic was light, for a change.
Me: how would I know where your phone is? I hardly saw you after school…
Him: maybe I took it downstairs (yes, that’s what I think too. Downstairs is where fortnite lives…)
I park near the third base dugout and tell him I’ll sit there till some of his people show up.
Me: I gotta head back after they arrive and take your sister to her practice. Your dad will meet you in a bit.
He starts wandering away. I notice the water bottle in the car door.
Me: WATER BOTTLE! 🙄 (lordy)
He starts walking away again when suddenly he turns around and comes back to the car.
Him: I’m not wearing cleats…I put running shoes on.
Him: so when you go back home you can pick up my cleats and my phone and bring it.
He says this so matter of factly I can’t help but smile at him. I’m not even mad. It was just four hours ago when he texted me from school about his forgotten glove and having softball practice…
Me: I have to take your sister to practice, I’m not sure if I can. Your dad may or may not be home yet…and how would I know where you left your phone?
I forgave him. I understand what it’s like. He put his regular running shoes on out of habit because he had just played fortnite and his brain was still on fortnite so he didn’t think with all of his brain cells because… must I repeat myself… FORTNITE… 🙃
Middle age is that, and more. Kind of like the teen years…all that brain development, except in the other direction. I for one do not have fortnite on my brain, no matter how many times I spelled it out in this blog post.
But we’ll get there. Somehow. Being forgetful is not something I’m comfortable with but I do have my apps and calendars and system to keep on top of it all. It works, most of the time. My wish is that eventually, they too will adapt a system that works for them. The older they get, the more they are responsible for their own schedules.
The other alternative is to let things fall down occasionally. Not sure my middle-aged brain cells can handle that, though. 😛