Clean Slate – New Year


By Melanie Lewis

This mom wants laughter, thriving children, a busy house and a prize. This is a fantastic and perhaps lofty list for 2021.  However, it is a new year, new day and new possibilities.  It reminds me of the kids getting ready for camp in the summer.  They look forward to seeing their cabin mates, the fun trips, activities, challenges and obstacles overcome.  It seems like an appropriate metaphor after having hunkered down without social connections outside of the virtual world.  If you braved the world as an essential worker providing meals, healthcare or groceries, we are forever in your debt.

Mom wants the heaviness to lift, not just the scale variety. Irma Bombeck would say something like that. She nailed the wit and humor of a family. She said,” If you can’t make it better, you can laugh at it.” Moms need to listen and try to capture them. It’s like trying to catch a butterfly. At dinner I was telling everyone that I drove by the Christmas tree lot that day. There were only a few scraggly short trees and a couple of the really tall trees that are usually very expensive.  All I had to do was say the expensive trees and my youngest said, ”The $500 ones?”  Yes. I laughed and that was the greatest gift of the day and I thanked him for the smile.

The kids are doing well in their classes. I however get the feeling that we parents are holding our collective breath. We are waiting for the end of COVID.  However, we are on a continuum and need to live every day, albeit in a different mode. This is where my kids have outperformed me. They are going about their days with zoom classes, home science experiments and homework without skipping a beat. It’s true that the young are more resilient than we think. .  I use the medium most familiar to them. Texting.   I love sending them funny memes, Youtube dash cam videos to teach the hazards of bad driving, song clips and funny photos I take while out and about. Today there was this license plate, “& beyond”, on an Infinity.

With everyone on the computer in their respective corners, the house is lackluster. Libraries are filled with more verve. The cat sleeps all day except to occasionally meow for a treat.  I am busy with cleaning, shopping and cooking with an occasional Reliv supplement inquiry or attending to someone’s dog.  And it’s all gotten to be dull work, except for the dogcare, bit! I’d rather be headed to the mall for sightshopping,  or drinking coffee at Starbucks for a reading date with the kids.

No mothering prizes have been awarded – I may get a pat on the head from my towering teens.  And I don’t see any taking place outside the house. Since I have done all I can to make it better, I better laugh about it today and try again tomorrow. “When humor goes, there goes civilization.”
― Erma Bombeck

Welcome to Camp 2021