Thursday, March 11, 2010

It's Just Not Orange

One night not long ago, we attended the (very) last event for one of the daughter’s many activities. Now, normally, such a thing would leave me a blubbering heap of sentimentality…being forced a step closer to that ever looming empty nest and all. This evening, however, left me just plain irked. I’ll consider it a great victory in brevity that I omit detail. Suffice it to say that a change in leadership had turned what was once a beloved pastime into an exercise in futility and frustration.

So after choking down the meal from a local restaurant (which ought to be called “The Heart Attack”) and doing the smile and nod throughout the entire evening, we headed home, the daughter in her car and the husband and I in ours. Our tires were barely touching asphalt when I started yakking… Every frustration which had been masquerading behind that disingenuous nod and smile came spilling out in one long wok wok wok wok wokkkkkk…..

Finally, I took a breath.

The husband seized the opportunity. He reached out, grabbed my hand, and said, “Honey. Stop. It’s over.”

Well, that kind of irked me more. Here I was, trying to spill my frustrated guts in a safe place where the daughter would not hear, and he was giving me the code words for “I don’t want to hear this anymore.”

But then he repeated it, this time in a way that my oddball brain could process. He said, “Let it go. It’s not orange.” And I knew exactly what he was trying to say. Orange, as I’ve said, is my theme color for 2010. It’s my theme color for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that, with God’s provision, it will be the school color for both daughters next year. Simply put, orange is the future.

Very shortly the red and black of high school will be a thing of the past. And let’s face it, no matter how much we sentimentalize high school, it is less than ideal. It’s a difficult time with emotional challenges. Frankly, some parts of high school just need to be brushed, like dust off of the bottom of the feet, and we need to move on...toward the orange.

I have always left open boxes on the shelves of the girls’ closets where they could stockpile mementos. We call them our memory boxes. The girls are allowed to cram anything into those boxes that their hearts desire, but when they overflow...

like this...

It’s time to pull them down and sort them out. At that point, we save only those  mementos deemed valuable enough for preservation. Those, we box… and label… and send up to Innie Paradise. (Well, of course)

It has always been a little comical to me to see what each girl deemed worthy of the save. They save papers and certificates and ticket stubs and all kinds of little trinkets. Miss Whimsy had a goofy little habit of saving favorite hats. One thing was constant: The things deemed valuable always made them smile. I mean… Who saves the worst paper he ever wrote? Or the lowest test grade?

I, on the other hand, have crammed so many red and black memories into this open heart of mine that it is full to overflowing. Most bring a smile, but some... well, they just leave me irked. It’s long past time to do a mommy memory sort and toss and preserve only the memories of value. The rest are just details, not worth the saving, and definitely not orange.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8


ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie said...

I love the concept of focusing on the life you want to create and having a color to represent that. I also like the idea of sorting out old memorabilia...from both the physical and mental/emotional space. A memory sort is a great idea!


ALVN of WhisperWood Cottage and Junkologie said...

Just tweeted this post! :)

Low Tide High Style said...

I found you through Amy's tweet! And what a wonderful post. Our son is in his last year of high school and although he chose the path less traveled, he did all of the AP academic "stuff" and is top ranked in his class, but refused to join NHS because he said many in it at his school were just "fake," I'm glad to say that he got accepted to every University he applied to and was offered scholarships, in spite of the fact that he didn't fit the mold of today's super student. High school has become something it never used to be. But I could go on and on. I think you summed it up nicely, and I too am moving on. Enjoy the orange and thanks for a great post!

Kat :)

Jennie said...

Yay for Orange!

I had a similar thing happen with Sam last weekend.

Him: Stop. It's over.
Me: (hyperventilating with anger)

Turns out, he was right. That's why *he's* the Voice of Reason.

Thank you for this one, especially the scripture at the end. What a great reminder!


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