Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Baggage

Posted October 20, 2013

When you walk into my front hallway on any given day there are any number of bags - school bags, computer bags, purses, lunch bags, swim bags, dance bags.

And I am the designated keeper of the bags. I am also air traffic control when it comes to the bags, lining them up depending on the day. Monday is swim day, Tuesday is dance day, Thursday is PE day. You get the drill.

Don’t get me wrong. My girls are old enough to make sure their bags are packed and ready for the particular day, but I always go behind them, especially with my youngest, and make sure everything is there. Tap shoes, check. Water bottle, check. Goggles, check. Towel, check.

“Mom, why is there a towel in my book bag,” my daughter asked me one morning recently. I had a pretty good idea why. Her book bag was next to the swim bag and I was going down the line checking, adding, deleting. All the bags at Amanda's house

“I’m sorry. I obviously got the bags confused,” I replied sheepishly, pulling the towel out and re-stuffing it in the proper bag.

“That’s pretty funny, Mom. The bags don’t even look alike,” she smiled, delighted with my tired parenting lapse.

The bag dance consumes about 30 minutes every evening, and it’s not really as much about the bags as it is about how busy our lives are and how as parents we need to allow our children to eventually shoulder some of the baggage.

Maybe one day she doesn’t have a water bottle, or a towel because I didn’t check the bag. It wouldn’t be the end of the world, and it would probably encourage her to do the checking herself.

Once again, it’s these letting go moments in parenting that are tough, navigating our children’s transitions into independent beings.

Now, if I only had someone to pack my bag so I wouldn’t continually forget things. The other day it was my wallet.

“Hey, can you spot me for lunch?” I asked my photographer Chad. “Forgot my wallet.”

“Shocking,” he replied sarcastically. “That never happens.”

Amanda is the mom of two, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including three on motherhood. Find her here on Mondays. 


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  • jabbo22 Oct 21, 2013

    That's funny snowl!
    Mine are in college and I still pack bags for them but mostly go over a mental/sometimes physical checklist of what they should have packed. For me it comes from being organized and a list-maker.

  • snowl Oct 21, 2013

    And to think it all starts with that awful diaper bag! LOL

  • computer trainer Oct 21, 2013

    Amanda- She could have removed the towel from her bookbag. Just saying!! :)

    Yes, we do do a LOT of things for our kids, that they should do. It is hard to remember when to let go. Baby steps, for all of us.

  • UNCW_Ash Oct 21, 2013

    As mom we are the keeper of all things. And that's true for our husbands as well. I'm constantly asked "Mom, where are my shoes, shirt, jacket, etc?", "Honey where's my phone, keys, etc.?" Yeah, like I was the one who had that last???

    And I understand the checking behind-we don't necessarily pack the bags but our kids do get the quiz on "did you remember (fill in the blank)".

  • Lab mom Oct 21, 2013

    My daughter is 12 and I still pack her PE bag daily and her lunch. She is my only one so I will do it while she will let me!
    I almost packed her a container of gravy vs. sandwich a few weeks ago! Glad I caught it!

  • caniac315 Oct 21, 2013

    Chad can't talk....anyone who puts his dog's leash in the frig/freezer needn't be passing judgement on you for forgetting your wallet. Actually, you two make a great pair. :)