Thursday, November 10, 2005


The Kind of Mom Who Runs Out of Things

Like milk, for instance. Carton sitting on empty, still taking up space in the fridge, undiscovered until the morning rush of finding shoes and making lunches and pouring cereal, which, thank god, the children who belong to a mom who runs out of things have learned to eat dry. Asking the neighbor, Ms. Perfect Mom Who Never Runs Out Of Anything, to borrow some milk is always an option, and one well-used, whatever Ms. Perfect may think about it.

What’s worse is when the pull-ups run out and it’s late and no amount of finger-crossing will keep the sheets dry, and no matter how many times it happens, no matter how much longer it takes to do the laundry the next day, the kind of mom who runs out of things can’t kick or scream because long before the job is done, she runs out of energy.

And why waste breath? There’s only a few words left anyway, like dammit and I should have and next time, words that the mom who runs out of things absolutely needs never to run out of. So the kind of mom who runs out of things learns the value of cell phones, 24 hour Wal-Marts, and the Internet. She knows there’s no problem that can’t be solved – it’s just a matter of adjusting your expectations.

The kind of mom who runs out of things can and will make do, and along the way she’s tucked away bits of wisdom like one hundred and one uses for scotch tape. The kind of mom who runs out of things tells herself that she’s showing her kids how to be creative, teaching them to be resourceful, and imagines that someday they’ll use their skills and win a million dollars on “Survivor.”

The kind of mom who runs out of things knows to wait when her patience dashes out the door, because she’s learned it always returns. The kind of mom who runs out of things knows time is neither friend nor foe, she knows how to forgive herself, and when she looks at her children, she knows, without a doubt, the really important stuff you never run out of.
-Irene Latham


Blogger J.B. Rowell said...

My children learned how to eat cereal dry too, and sometimes even ask for it that way!

7:02 PM, November 10, 2005  

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