When I was younger, I carried a purse with the essentials of a younger woman: wallet, journal and pen, keys, lipstick, mascara, tissues and emergency phone call quarter (this was in the days before cell phones).
Not long ago, I realized that my large purse, while no longer needed for hauling around diapers and baby toys, weighed almost as much a my six-year-old. So I decided to scale down to a smaller size. I figured the limited space would help me avoid accumulating the unnecessary 'stuff' that finds its way into larger bags, much in the same way cosmic debris finds its way into black holes in space.
My new bag is 8 inches wide by 8.5 inches tall. Cute, sassy, chic. This morning, I decided to clean it out. Here's what I found:
sustainable seafood guide
2 bottles of hand sanitizer
1 deck of cards
1 granola bar
KI pills (in case of nuclear attack)
1 package of wasabi
2 packets of soy sauce (thankfully, no sushi)
9 Dunkin' Donuts napkins
LEGO Darth Vader figure
neon plastic alien
Either the laws of physics cease to exist inside my purse or I truly have become a magical mom, able to carry any number of food and entertainment items with me, regardless of purse size. I feel like a modern day Jesus. Instead of loaves and fishes, I'm ready to sugar up the pint-sized masses with Twizzlers and lollipops, then play a quick game of Crazy Eights before the train comes. I know we have time, because I have the schedule with me, you see.
Apparently all those cub scout meetings have finally made an impact, their message sinking in to my tired, frazzled brain: be prepared.
The funny thing is, I'm rarely out with my children for any extended period of time anymore. Instead, they are at school, gymnastics, tennis, piano lessons and den meetings. My job now is merely to get them there.
I suppose I could downsize again and get rid of all the kiddie-oriented, no-longer-needed stuff. Maybe I can even go back to my own bare essentials. Think of how light my purse would be!
Of course, that would mean letting go of a lot more than just a few lollipops. I'm not sure I'm ready to do that just yet.