Tonight, I came into my son’s room and noticed to my dismay that somehow, once again, we had lost the floor.
The floor was gone: lost underneath a scattering of dirty clothes, books, book bags, sweatshirts and toys.
“Jamie!” I said, unable to hide my dismay. “Jamie. Son. You need to put your dirty clothes into the clothes hamper. You know this.”
Jamie obediently got down from his bunk and began sorting the clothes, while I went into our bedroom to attend to my own laundry.
I came back. There will still dirty clothes everywhere.
“Jamie. You need to put all the dirty clothes in the hamper.”
As I piled books back onto his bookshelf, Jamie gradually liberated the floor from its captivity.
As I tucked him into bed, I explained: “Jamie, I am doing all this for the sake of your future wife, and for your future happiness in your marriage. Your future wife will not find mounds of your dirty clothes everywhere endearing. In fact, she may say: ‘My husband is a slob! Why didn’t his mother teach him how to clean up after himself?’ So, I’m trying to teach you how to clean up after yourself and be considerate, for the sake of your future wife and to give you a happy marriage.”
Jamie found this hilarious. “Well,” he said, laughing, “You’re doing a terrible job.”
To my future daughter-in-law: please believe me when I tell you I did my best.