I often think of the myth of Sisyphus that I read about in school sometime years ago.
He was the man whom the Greek gods condemned to roll a huge boulder up a hill, only to see it roll down when he reaches his top. He then has to trudge back to the bottom to do it all again. Every day for all of eternity.
I can’t remember what Sisyphus did that was so bad in the Greek legend, but I think of him when I do the laundry. The laundry is my boulder.
When (if) I get it completely washed, folded and put away, I feel like I’ve accomplished a major feat, only to open the laundry hamper to see it already full again. With clothes from the swimming pool, the playground, sports games, the park or elsewhere and with towels from the pool as well as from the kids’ three baths each night.
I know I’m not unique.
I also know that we can find Sisyphus anywhere, in the little things like dishes and laundry and in the big things like child rearing. We get up every day and do it all over again.
Philosopher Albert Camus once suggested that Sisyphus was smiling as he faced his momentous task again each day, and in doing so, he had beaten the gods.
“One must imagine Sisyphus happy,” he wrote.
I like that. I also like what the apostle Paul wrote to the early Christians once:
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.” (James 1:2-3 NKJV)
It’s hard to remember to smile in the nitty gritty daily grind of whatever my boulder is that day. I often have to remind myself to “count it all joy.”
But each day is a new day, and I am thankful for the chance to try again with my children, my family and friends whom I love. And with the laundry. And unpacking from our move a year ago. And the dishes. And the cleaning. And …
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning.(Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)
Dirty, stinky clothes were out but nice jackets, sweaters, mismatched flip-flops and jeans were in during the Lost-and-Found Fashion Show held at Chisholm Elementary School this week.
The style show at the Edmond school started nine years ago when Principal Joanne Graham arrived and it continues to be a hit. It’s also a great way to return missing clothes to the proper owners.
And “stylin’” they were in discarded sweatshirts, jackets, ball caps, lunch boxes, shoes and more. Modeling were fifth-grade members of the “Chargies Kidz Council” at Chisholm. The style show had so many items that it required about 40 models to show them off.Models picked out silly names like “Ravishing Robin,” were announced by emcees and strutted onto stage to music, sometimes carrying a lost lunch box as well.
The students in the audience who recognized what they were wearing raised their hand, and the model dropped by to remove the “found” item and hand it over to the correct owner.
“We got rid of about a fourth of the stuff we modeled,” Graham said.
By the end of the day the lost-and-found box was reduced by about half as students claimed more items that were displayed in the cafeteria after the style show.
The remaining items will be donated to charity by the end of the year.
What puzzles Graham was the amount of shoes that ended up in the mountainous lost-and-found box — a pair of red boots, a single, mismatched flip-flop and more.
“How do you go home without your shoes on?” she asked.
Who knows? But what a great, practical and fun way to end the school’s assembly line-up for the year.
Happy summer! (soon)
Parents of “’tweens” and younger children have probably heard by now about the controversial photos of Miley Cyrus that will appear in the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair magazine. To some, the photos by Annie Leibovitz are suggestive and inappropriate for the 15-year-old star of the Disney sitcom “Hannah Montana” and the clean image that Cyrus projects to her fans. Others, who think the photos are artistic and classical, wonder what all the fuss is about.
In any case, she (but especially her parents) should have known that provocative photos of a 15-year-old girl, even if innocent, would take on a life of their own among her young fans and the parents who are trying to protect them from the smuttiness of today’s world.
I don’t know what Cyrus hoped to accomplish with those photos — a more grown-up image, perhaps? — or if she was just having fun with a renowned photographer and in awe of the spectacle of being Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus and the doors that the character has opened for her.
As parents, we try to stay on guard to make sure good judgment prevails when it comes to our children, long before people are saying, “well, hindsight is 20/20, but … ”
Five giggly, chatty first-grade girls fell asleep in their sleeping bags on my living room floor around midnight Saturday. It was my daughter’s 7th birthday and her first sleepover.
In fact, it was the first time I have ever let her have friends to spend the night, having set the arbitrary age of 7 as the age to allow sleepovers when her older brother turned 7. So now that we’ve officially launched sleepover era in our house for two of my children, I’m wondering when all the rites of slumber party passage begin – prank calling, fingernail painting, toilet papering, truth or dare, commiserating over boys, etc. – all the things we did at one age or another during slumber parties when we were kids.
What do you think is the best age to start allowing friends to spend the night or sons and daughters to go spend the night with friends? At what age do sleepovers end? What rules do you set beforehand? How involved are you as a parent? (more…)