It never fails. The pie safe in my kitchen that I use for extra storage space is always a mess. The doors are left randomly open, and the contents inside the cabinet is most often an utter mess.
I have told, asked, even begged my daughters to close the cereal box when they are done. After all, an open box of cereal turns into a stale box of cereal in no time, right? Plus, it’s a simple request.
It’s a life skill.
When they are on their own I don’t want them wasting tons of money on cereal and chips because they were never taught how to properly close the boxes and bags. I realize there will come a time in their life when they will be living on cereal, sustaining themselves on the cheapest and sweetest brand they can find, eating it at midnight – often without milk. I remember those days myself.
But instead of listening to me and taking 5 extra seconds to seal off the cereal (from the inside of the box out), or roll down the bag of Doritos…they just throw it back in the pie safe. Time, and time again.
So this morning when I found yet another cereal box left opened, and stale I busted into the living room and showed them in a full and sarcastic display how to close the cereal box properly. I pointed my finger, used my stern mom voice.
And when I was through, one of my daughters asked me if I was about to start my period or something while the other simply said, “OMG MOM, what’s the big deal?”
What’s the big deal? WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL? “If you cannot close a damn cereal box, how will you ever make it in life? If I cant trust you to close the cereal box, how am I going to trust you to go away for an entire week with your class? If I cant count on you to be responsible enough to close a cereal box, how in the world am I going to trust you enough to let you drive a car by yourself?”
“ If you aren’t able to close a stupid cereal box – how am I ever going to be able to let you go?”
And then there were tears. Mine.
It turns out that I was about to start my period, but that’s not the point really. The point is I really needed to see small steps in the right direction. I needed to know that my kids have been hearing me – not just about the cereal box, but about everything else. I wanted to believe that I was doing a good job raising them, and that their encroaching adult hood would be healthy, happy and successful. (And somehow in that moment, it all depended on the cereal box)
Today, I woke up to a closed pie safe. When I looked inside, the cereal boxes were closed as well. And somehow, it felt painfully bitter sweet.