Lifestyle

Everything's fun --- even aging memories

I have decided everything’s fun.

When you’re trying out the new hammock and it comes crashing down, bruising your hip on the stand, you have two choices: You can sulk or you can simply laugh, rub your aches and declare, “Everything’s fun!”

When you take the kids and the rubber boats, fishing gear, drinks and towels to the lake but leave the oars at home, well, “Everything’s fun.”

When you get the chicken salad all made and there is no thawed bread in the house, you simply slap the makings into less-than-fresh hot dog buns, hand the plates to the family and –– you guessed it –– say, “Everything’s fun.”

Today is bedroom ballet. My girls share a room, and for the longest time, it was divided into two areas by a freestanding wall. While the girls enjoyed a little privacy, they hated to be in their tiny, dark corners. The result was tossing stuff into their half of the room and running away. Where did the floor go?

Just yesterday, they decided on their own that privacy was not worth the sacrifice of lost floor space. They figured out that having your own room was not worth it if you didn’t want to be in there.

The wall is down, and the stuff is all shoveled out into the living room, and hall, and stairwell, and kitchen. (I am pretending it’s fun to leap over piles on the way to get my cup of coffee). The loft beds are being moved to new corners of the room, and the floor and window are exposed.

Today we are looking at the piles of stuff (this is fun, right?). With my oldest starting high school and my youngest starting middle school, the old stuff has taken on a new quality. Most of it is just too immature. The piles are divided now into two –– pitch and keep.

I choose to not try hurdling piles with a full cup of coffee, so I sit in the midst of the bedlam and sip away. It is everything within me to not pull a baby doll from the pitch pile. I thought I would feel a sense of relief at seeing some of the plastic toys that I loathe stepping on hit the road. But instead, I am filled with nostalgia and a dose of grieving. Maybe everything is not so fun.

As I snitch something from the “immature pile,” I can hear the laughter of the girls. There is a sense of new freedom coming from their room. Instead of having teddy bears on the bed, they are arranging them in a net that hangs from the ceiling. They, too, are struggling with the move from child to teen.

There is more room on the shelves for address books, stereos and makeup. The things of the past were fun, but now we are making room for the fun things of the future.

I have two choices: I can sulk over aging memories, or I can look boldly into the future of adolescence and declare, “Everything’s fun!”

Kerri Hofmann lives in Federal Way with her three children.

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