I keep a calendar. It's where all the upcoming important things and events and places I need to be and also the people I am responsible for need to be when they need to be there live. Usually on Sunday afternoons I sit at the dining table and fill in and review what's coming up for the week.
I don't do this because I am an organized person. I do this because the inside of my brain looks like a "worst of" episode of Hoarders they haven't even dreamed of yet. Also see previous post re: how my brains are LITERALLY spilling out of my skull so there is that.
I also don't do this to establish an alibi, unless my dental appointment will clear me of suspicion of murder, in which case go ahead and ask me.
If you have ever tried to make social plans with me, I have likely told you to check with The Hubs because he's in charge of our social calendar. That is true. He inherited the gene from his mother wherein he can tell you where we are going for 4th of July for the next five years straight.
My brain is filled to capacity with other things, and thanks to scoring a 14/14 on this Greenwich University test I know it's also filled with the faces of everyone I've ever looked at, which explains why I randomly point out people in grocery stores and bore my spouse to literal death with stories like hey there's the guy that did such and such ten years ago and in exchange he looks at me like he is calculating the amount of insurance money he could get if he killed me in my sleep so he never has to hear another story like this and he can't decide if it's worth it. (Also spoiler: NOT MUCH!!)
In the end he decides not to because he needs me to use my skills to tell him who an actor is or what other movie we saw him in because we can't enjoy entertaining things until I tell him and I couldn't very well tell him if I was dead.
I keep a calendar to remind myself of the what-and-who-goes-where because with all the faces in my head and also all the other useless trivia IN THE WORLD lodged there ( hey Mandy, you wanna know why that horse has ribbons braided into its tail?) and also the knowledge required to do my actual day job that they pay me money to do, this being able to remember normal things business is my shortcoming. Like on Friday, TB stayed home with Dad-Dad with a fever and I was at work at 9:30 midway through a meeting before it occurred to me I'd forgotten to call the school and tell them.
What's that you ask? Why did not Dad-Dad whom he was staying home with call the school? Unsure. Dad-Dad would probably say he does not know the school's telephone number. I do not know of all the things that occupy Dad-Dad's brain hoard, but I think the corner where there could be room to store the telephone number for the school is occupied by the fine print of the Dairy Queen buy-one-get-one-free coupons, which up until he had to go and ruin it for everyone, there didn't USED TO HAVE TO BE an exclusion for ice cream cakes on.
Who knows whether this will ever improve? In all this, I'm arming my kids to be more self sufficient.
I sent TB to school on Monday with a Costco-sized package of string cheese in an insulated bag in his backpack. I heard him tell EVERY SINGLE kid at the bus stop, "Guess what I have in my backpack! STRING CHEESE!". I made a mental note to email his teacher about it.
And then I forgot.
Later in the day, I emailed her:
"I *hope hope hope* he told you he has string cheese in his backpack before it got warm."
She answered back:
"He was responsible. He told me as soon as he got to the classroom."
Today, I asked him to please give Ella back her free-draw picture that had accidentally come home in his folder. He asked how I knew it was hers. I knew because Ella's mom had given me back one of TB's papers that had gone home with her by mistake. I also knew it was THIS Ella and not a different Ella because we'd chuckled over both our kids stubbornly making capital As not in the beginning of their names.
I knew when I saw -EllA- across the top it was hers.
Could I have given it to Ella's mom myself? Yeah. We both go to the bus stop in the mornings. But this was a chance for him to see that someone made a mistake (their mailboxes are next to each other), fix that mistake even though it was not HIS mistake, and to give back a thing that didn't belong to him. Things like that take practice when it's a little insignificant thing like a free-draw so that when it's a big thing like someone's valued personal property, the decision comes like muscle memory to do what's right.
It's one thing to preach theory to someone and hope they do it when the time comes, but it's a gift when you have a chance to practice.
Because when my boys grow up, I want them to know how to do the right thing, especially when it affects other people. As they're getting older, I'm realizing that as much as things like grades are important to me, how they treat others is importanter. So far, I think they're doing okay, but we've had A LOT of chitty-chats along the way, especially lately.
Yes, about Kavanaugh, too. Especially about that.
When TB got off the bus today, I asked him whether he had a fun day, and whether he gave Ella back her paper. He said yes and yes, but that he waited until they got all the way to school to give it to her. I was irritated.
"Why didn't you give it to her on the bus?"
"Because it was raining, mom. I didn't want her to have a tricky zipper on her backpack on the bus and not be able to zip it up and it would get all wet and rainy. I waited until we were inside at school in case she needed a grown up to help with her zipper after she put it away."
I'm going to forget things again. A lot of things. I will forget and get lost in the minutiae of times and dates and appointments and the things I need to write down because I cannot seem to make them stick like post-its on my brain.
I will remember that today, TB was my favorite.