Musings of a Disorganized Parent (More of an essay than poem.
I bought a book the other day about simplicity and parenting.
What is said was the same thing my mother-in-law said,
“Too many toys, too many clothes. Get rid of half of it, then half again.”
Like I needed a book to tell me my kids are as overwhelmed as I am.
But now, the task ahead. What to keep, what to carve out?
And how long can I keep the new open spaces open?
I yearn for one fat notebook with all my poems handwritten inside.
Instead, I have ten, maybe twenty, only partly used,
novels and poems yet to write glowing on empty pages.
There are boxes of folders of printed out drafts,
duplicates of one draft or another, few if any final drafts
for no poem is truly ever finished.
I worry about the kids’ rooms to keep from worrying
about the boxes of folders filled with words stashed under my bed
or in the study, or free conference satchels filled with folders.
Then I think of rare unscheduled moments
when I’d rather be playing with the kids than playing anti-Santa.
No wonder kids love hotel stays.
Only enough clothes and toys to fit in a cloth case and a backpack
not to mention some unstructured time with their parents.
Maybe I’ll pack up their favorite things in a suitcase
and clear out the rest, then they can pretend they are on vacation.
Better yet, I’ll take them on vacation and rent a u-haul and some helpers
to clear out their rooms not to mention the countless boxes of poems.
What is unseen can be forgotten, right?
I tell my little one to throw out an old superhero toy, yet I
cannot toss a computer printout with words I culled from my inner child.
We expect so much from these little beings, and so little from ourselves.
Simplicity. Perhaps I am ready for a challenge.