I had a moment of déjà vu recently and it left me laughing. My oldest was getting ready to leave for college and there were piles of stuff in her bedroom; clothes, bedding, towels, books etc. One morning a couple of weeks ago, I found her sitting in the midst of it and I told her she had to get it sorted out fast as I did not want her leaving it all until the day before she left.
As I walked away I had to bite the insides of my cheeks so I didn’t burst out laughing, if only she knew about my experience when I left home for college.
The year was 1986 and I had spent months thinking about leaving for college. I had worked all summer since graduating and had bought some dorm essentials. I shared a bedroom with my sister and instead of trying to find space to store it there; I took over the landing at the top of the stairs. The week before I left my mom also reminded me several times not to leave packing to the last minute, but I did. The night before I was cramming stuff into a couple of boxes and a suitcase. Everything I took fit into my brother’s Ford Escort.
The following year I was moving into an apartment so the collection of stuff I was compiling on my mom’s landing was even bigger. Now there were dishes, pots and pans and my giant boom box (it was the 80’s!) Anyone wanting to go upstairs had to navigate the ever growing pile. My mom’s reminders to get organized and packed became less gentle but once again I left it to the last minute. This time I didn’t even bother gathering boxes to pack up my stuff; instead I grabbed a handful of giant garbage bags and shoved everything into those. I had outgrown my brother’s Ford Escort, that year he rented a van.
I would love to say that my mom’s nagging and my brother laughing hysterically at my classy “luggage” changed my yearly packing skills, but it didn’t. I still left it to the day before and Hefty became my “duffle” bag of choice.
Sometime throughout the years I became more organized and some of it rubbed off on our youngest daughter. When we go on vacation Eilidh will have her case neatly packed days before we leave and she rarely forgets anything. She’s been packing her own stuff since she was about 8 years old. Amy on the other hand is like me in the 80’s; toss what you think you need in a case minutes before you head out the door. I should have known that leaving for college wouldn’t be any different.
Amy is in an apartment so she needed a lot of stuff, I bought her giant storage tubs to pack stuff into, and I got space bags for her bedding etc. They were eventually packed in the two days before she left, and every time I went to open my mouth to say something to her I could hear my mother all those years ago. I haven’t shared my déjà vu moment with my mom yet, but when I do I know no-one is going to laugh harder than her, she had to wait a long time for karma to catch up with me, but it did!