It happens almost every day: I walk into a room, see something annoying my kids have done (or not done) (or left out) (or put away) (or broken) and throw up my hands in exasperation.
Say it with me: Kid's are so annoying! Why can't they just figure it out? Is it really all that difficult to clean up after yourself?
The other night, as I walked through our family room on my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth, I noticed a pair of cups still half-filled with Fresca, an open bag of chips and a bowl with the remains of guacamole in it. I threw up my hands in frustration... then put them back down and cleaned up my own mess.
Say it with me: I am so annoying!
So, following, is an absolutely incomplete list of the things my kids do that drive me absolutely insane (that I also do all the time).
Leave out food dishes.
It's not just the dishes, really. It's the food remnants still in the dishes. Have scientistic studies how Rice Crispies become harder than cement when dried on the side of a cereal bowl? It's a remarkable fact. And it's also incredible how little time it takes a banana peel to become absolutely disgusting.
That said, I am just as terrible, with the cheese fries, soda bottles and leftovers from dinner still on the table. It's almost as if it isn't officially a snack if I clean up after myself. And boy do I like to snack.
Don't pick up their clothes.
Piles. Piles everywhere. Piles in the closet, piles next to the bed (and on the bed!) - piles in the bathroom, by the back door, at the top of the steps and in the middle of the living room.
And my kids leave their clothes around as well - it's not just me!
Play music way too loudly.
For some reason, a few of my kids like really strange oldies music, and other kids like really strange modern music. So we alternate between Rock the Casbah, Funky Town and whatever is on pop radio. It's all weird. And it's all too loud. If I had a nickel for every time I heard, "Turn it up..."
That said, when I'm feeling the urge to play dc Talk and dance around with a broom, I'm not too modest on the volume either...
But there's a takeaway.
Ultimately, the more I've reflected on this back-and-forth, the more I've learned to give grace to my kids and to double down on diligence for myself. It's easy to slack on the details - on the picking up and the follow through and finishing.
Maturity doesn't mean the details come easily - maturity means we're willing to do what's hard. Diligence is one of those maturity pieces we all need to grow in.