I only vaguely remember my high school graduation. Not that it wasn’t eventful or fun or filled with family. It was all those things. But it was now so long ago that I barely remember much about it. Sure, I know who the valedictorian and salutatorian for our class were. Couldn’t really tell you what either of them said for speeches – not that their speeches weren’t memorable, I’m sure they were. I just know that since it’s been twenty-five years now the data banks in my head have purged that information long ago in the hopes of making room for more personal information.
The one thing I hadn’t remembered, either, was how much has to be done in order to get to graduation. I thank the heavens above that my graduation was on a Sunday – usually Mother’s Day. Family can attend that way. The day is centered around it, sure, and my Mom didn’t get a Mother’s Day, but still…it was a weekend. My two daughters, on the other hand, graduate on a Friday. This Friday. Add to that the fact that Hannah’s middle school graduation is at three in the afternoon and I am burning vacation days I need for summer and for taking my high-school graduate, Abbi to college in August.
But the necessities: there’s a cake. There’s food for the guests. There’s fire wood for the outside fire pit in case a lot of people show up or just want to go outside. There’s pop…there’s beer and wine…there’s food. Fruit plates and sandwich trays . . . all of that have to be completed.
That’s just for the day of.
Then there’s the whole cleaning the house thing. That would be a much easier accomplishment if the four people in said house actually helped to clean up the house. Instead what I found when I got home was a pile of clothes on my bed – the same bed I’m trying to strip and clean so my parents can sleep there. I still cannot get into Hannah’s (my 13-year-old) room due to the crap she’s scattered everywhere. That I need to do tomorrow so I can put the bunk bed back on the top of her bed set so Abbi has a place to sleep.
Then there’s the cleaning.
My threat to Hannah, my middle, has been that if she couldn’t clean up her bathroom and I mean really clean it, I’m cutting off her hair. Instead, I spent more than a half hour just cleaning the toilet. That’s right. The toilet.
Now, I get the fact that her two brothers share the bathroom with her. I also get that little boys aren’t always the best at aiming for the bowl when they should.
But the boys don’t have certain other bodily fluids that seem to coat the underside of the toilet lid, either. (That’s right, I went there. I could have been far more graphic, so deal with it!) I also found her hair . . . tons and tons of it . . . on the floor, pasted to the toilet, in the tub, clogging the drain, and just everywhere. She cleaned off her hair brush and threw the hairball on the floor next to the tub. (Why she would do that instead of near the mirror in the other room is beyond me.) I found panty liner wrappers on the floor . . . 6 inches away from the waste basket.
So I cleaned, for an hour, the bathroom there because it was late and I needed it clean for my parents coming in. I came downstairs and there are pans from dinner . . . everywhere. Never mind that the dishwasher was already dirty. Abbi used a cooler for some pot luck in her school and left it . . . open and drying . . . on the kitchen table.
So yeah . . . I’m burned out, exhausted, living on caffeine, and just plain aggravated at the four knuckleheads that live in my home.
Then I look at the next few months: bed sheets, towels, mirror, books, computer, clothes, laundry basket, dorm costs, food costs . . . and the overwhelming sensation takes over again.
So I look to my two and say “get graduating already,” and realize that the work’s far from over even after that.
Then I go back upstairs and get out the vacuum, because I’m not even at Friday yet . . . and I still can’t get the sheets off my bed.