At this very moment, my dear friend and organizer extrordinaire, Melanie Dennis of NeatStreak Professional Organizing, is teaching my 11 year old how to tame her clutter. The joy this brings me is hard to put into words, but I feel a flutter in my heart that rivals that of watching my kids perform on stage. I am proud. I can hear the praise being dolled out in large scoops, heaped upon the girl with the limited self esteem. Through little peeks in the cracks, I have seen the huge smile on her face and can sense the self-satisfaction she is getting from this process. She is learning, at a moment when she is ripe for it, a life skill that will serve her well as she continues her ascent into the beautiful young woman she is becoming.
I get something out of it, too, don’t get me wrong. I can walk through the homework room or her bedroom without feeling the mess sucking all the air away. I won’t have to listen to the screamed, Muh-Ahhhh-MUH! where is my … (You name it, there’s been a time she hasn’t been able to find it.) It also motivates me to get my own organizing in full 2011 swing. Things have fallen into serious disarray over the holidays and beyond.
I have done my level best to work on these skills with the girls myself. Her age and attention differences all contribute to how she situates her environment. There is just something magical that happens when another adult comes in with the specific purpose of working with my girl. I am watching her blossom right before my eyes. She is reasonable, she is chucking out things that she has long outgrown, she is filling the paper bag for recycling. She has a bag of items to donate to others. All of these things make my heart swell.
It may have taken Melanie coming in to put her into motion, but I realize that the things that I value and have modeled to her over the years are in there. She has been watching, maybe listening, and with just the right help and attention, she is showing me just how much she gets it.