Tomorrow, Jack and I are going to escape this infernal heat in Texas and venture to California to visit family. But first, we have to pack. I’m not a neurotic packer, but I am a very careful packer. I make sure to check the weather reports at the place I am going to make sure that I have appropriate clothes, and even pack alternatives in case the meteorologists are wrong.
A week prior to our departure, I begin making a list of things that I need. I do this partly because I love going on vacation and I am very excited. But I also do it to maximize the likelihood that I will remember everything that I need. It doesn’t come to you all at once, you see. Your brain needs time to remember not only the camera, but the charger, and the the cord to upload the photos. Jack does not understand this, but he appreciates the good job I do packing. I think this attention to packing stems from my childhood…
I was about four years old, and we were going to visit my grandparents in Houston. My mom pulled out my suitcase. —-Let’s pause a moment so I can describe this suitcase to you—–first, it was purple & pink. That alone was enough to endear me to the suitcase. But, it was also just my size and had my name written in cursive on the front. It should be obvious to anyone who knows my family that this was a gift from my grandparents, not a standard-issue family suitcase. My clothes were probably toted in grocery bags prior to this suitcase’s arrival. I loved that suitcase dearly.
Anyway, back to the story: Mom pulled out my suitcase and asked me what clothes I wanted. I told her that I wanted to pack my suitcase. Now, my mom believed firmly in independence for me. I regularly styled my own outfits, and created my own food concoctions. So, with a small amount of fear, but enough strength to show me that she had confidence in my abilities, she told me I could pack the suitcase myself. And, she even drew a list for me. She had a little yellow pad of paper and wrote down each piece of clothing I would need, as well as a picture, because let’s remember folks: I am four years old.
So, I loped up the stairs, shut the door to my room and began assembling my wardrobe. I guess there was a lot going on, and my mom simply forgot to check my suitcase before we got to my grandparents house. But, when she opened up my suitcase, she saw how well I had remembered to pack everything. Except shirts. I forgot to pack shirts.
So, after a good laugh at my expense, my grandmother took my mom to Wal*Mart to buy some suitable clothes for me.
Before you condescendingly laugh at me, though; this was not the most embarrassing suitcase mishap in my family. The year prior, the adults forgot my entire suitcase in Austin and had to buy me a suitcase-full of clothing. And it was my third birthday. So they wrapped up the clothes, put bows on the top, and I got about 8 birthday presents that year.
That is possibly why I am a careful packer.