When I was a teen-ager, and was heading out to school for the day, my mother would say, “MAKE IT a good day!” Naw. No pressure, or anything. And why are you saying that?!? Do you think I have a PROBLEM with having a good day? I always KNEW YOU HATED ME!!! WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE ME?!?
Despite the teenage angst, I did get the point. Which was: How your day goes is up to you – so make it good, dammit! [I actually added the dammit part; Mom’s most likely horrified now. But I never was her favorite anyway. Refer to angst, teenage – subcategory: lots of, above]
Then, when I was a grown-up, I had a colleague. And I say “had” because I no longer have a job; And the colleague in question is deceased. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, right? Rest in Peace, Remotee Four.
And this colleague had four kids, most of whom were teenagers at-the-time. And they had this ritual they would go through before they left the house. I can’t remember now exactly what the ritual was because it’s lost in the sands of time which fill my head, then get displaced by 80’s songs and subsequently spill out my ears and onto the floor – which someone then has to clean up. For free. Because it’s not like anyone around here is getting PAID to sweep the grit off the floor.
But I do remember being truly inspired by my colleague’s love for his children, and what he said to his kids when they left the house each day. It was something along the lines of, “I’m proud of you, now go out and do something wonderful today.” I know, RIGHT? I’m getting choked up just thinking about it too. We are SUCH twins! Yay, Twins!!
And once I became a mom with school age kids, I boarded the send-your-kids-off-to-school-with-inspirational-words train.
But I made a mistake. And accidentally told my kids about how – just about every summer of my youth – we would spend time at a cottage by a lake. It was in New Hampshire (Hamp-shuh!) and it was soo-pah doo-pah! But the cottage was on the rustic side and the plumbing drained into a septic tank, which would fill up quickly when big crowds were around. And unless you took evasive measures, you’d soon be squelching through a front yard full of bad smells.
Evasive measures included posting a fun sign on the wall in the bathroom about not flushing the toilet EVERY time it was used. What the sign said, I remember to this day. I even waxed poetic about it to my kids.
Flash forward to the future, where it’s ACTUALLY my robot maid who cleans the sand up off the floor. Her name is Rosie and she works for free. Because if she ever DID ask for money, I’d flip her switch to “off.” She’s a robot afterall and she’s not that great of a cook, since we’re being honest.
Anyway, every morning after Judy and Elroy have walked Astro, but before they all pile into Hubby’s bubble-topped spaceship, [Reminder: we flashed forward to the future. So please don’t act all confused about these future-y references.] I hug and kiss Hubby and the kids and tell them I love them. Then I say to them, “Have a good day, have lots of fun…”
To which the kids reply, “But please don’t flush for number one!”