I spent a Terrible Thursday getting ready for Flashback Friday. I began looking for a video tape that I had made about ten years ago to use for a speech for Special Needs parents and professionals. I happened to have about twenty years of family videos of family events, so with the crude tools available to me, I cut and spliced a series of videos of Walker growing up, had it set to music, and showed it to a packed house, cutting my babbling to about twenty minutes.
Anyway, when I started looking for the video, it was nowhere to be found. We had it out on Walker’s thirty second birthday last August, and his friends got a big kick out of seeing themselves participating in birthday parties and Special Olympics events when they were tiny. I could remember asking my husband to put it in a safe place after the party, because Walker had already plundered my usual stash of kiddie memorabilia under my bed, and I didn’t want this particular tape to disappear.
We began by looking in the easy places. My husband checked the shelf in the closet where other videos were stored, I checked the armoire and the chest beside my bed, and went through the ones under the bed. Then we tackled my husband’s upstairs office, piled high with family memorabilia recently brought back home when his dad died.
Then the big search came…Walker’s room. The last time I had tackled Walker’s room, he was away at camp and it took several long days. I bought organizers of every description. I sorted and categorized his videos, dvd’s, cassette tapes, and various keepsakes. I was probably too respectful of his stuff at the time, and should have thrown a whole lot more away.
About all we could bear to do yesterday was search, not organize. It was like searching for your lost keys in Walmart’s toy department or maybe at Blockbuster's or the grocery store. There were Valentine’s cookies from last year, along with Nutter Butters from a week or so ago. There was an unopened package of Hershey’s miniatures…our reward for conducting the search. There were logo cups from fast food restaurants, and old batteries. Strangely enough though, there were no bugs. Not even one. There were hundreds of VHS tapes, but not the one I needed.
The longer we searched, the more annoyed I became. But I knew that tape was in the house.
We finally gave up and began again at the beginning. This time, I searched the shelf in the closet, and BINGO, there it was, right where I had said it would probably be from the beginning, only one shelf higher.
My husband thought I should be overjoyed to find the tape. I was really just upset that I spent five hours, left Walker’s room still needing organizing, and got right back where I should have been right after lunch all because he had not really done an adequate search.
No dishes were thrown, but dinner was not pleasant.
Walker wasn’t too annoyed that we had plundered his room. He gathered up all snack foods more than a week old for the trash, and I issued an ultimatum. He couldn’t buy another video or CD until he got rid of some and organized them. Now he was annoyed.
I offered to buy old ones at $1 each. He soon found twenty he could part with, and I have new entertainment for the little ones, and he has a small clear spot on the shelf and money for a new CD. I hope I have the patience to continue the struggle to organize our life. It really could be easier on everyone. It's a battle worth winning...I think.