Three sports bags. There are three sports bags in my foyer at this very moment. To be accurate: three sports bags, two tote bags, one basketball and 11 pairs of male-sized sneakers, shoes and cleats are strewn about our foyer.
This collection has been minimally organized to give the illusion that there is some order dwelling within our chaos. But this is a house for kids and kids sometimes live quite casually if parents allow it, which, to a degree, we do.
But there aren’t kids in this house. There is a kid. One.
One kid and three sports bags. March is that one kid’s sweet spot of his sporting year: basketball season isn’t quite over, but practices and conditioning for baseball already have begun.
There’s only one basketball bag, but his baseball gear appears to need two right now. I’m under the impression that this will be condensed into one at some point, but who knows?
“Tote bags, Susan? Those aren’t the kid’s.”
No, they’re mine, but they are the pre-packed bags to bring to sporting events — one for inside (winter basketball), one for outside (warm-weather baseball and football).
When my first child was born, I was so excited to move into a well-organized diaper bag; when my last child was potty-trained, I was so excited to trash that same messy bag.
The thrill of a big, roomy satchel of everything had worn off and been replaced by the burden of being the family Sherpa. The current tote bags are like a sporty, older-kid diaper bag except that diapers, wipes, and kid snacks have been swapped for a blanket, first-aid kit and trail mix for mama.
Sunblock seems to be the only constant.
Ever-changing boy paraphernalia has been there so long, it barely registers in my sight.
First, there was the gear of an older son who played tee-ball, baseball, basketball and football, then more impedimenta for a younger son who played the same sports.
There were a few years that both boys’ sports bags and three kids’ school backpacks were in the foyer at the same time. To tame the mass, we put two benches and some baskets in the entry space.
From day one, bags seem to gravitate to the top of the benches and the baskets overflowed with baseball caps, umbrellas and school debris.
I have visions of the day I walk through a well-organized and pristine foyer like in the Pinterest photos the organizational ideas first came from.
But the thing is, those multi-cubbied, well-hooked, organized and basketed foyers are for a family. When I get my pristine foyer, there won’t be a family living here anymore. There will only be us empty-nesters.
I can wait for the pristine foyer.
I can wait for the day I’m not sweeping up tiny, black nuggets — souvenirs of a game played on artificial turf that look alarmingly like mouse droppings.
I can wait for the day that I don’t lose my shizzle because all the dried mud from a pair of cleats is scattered on the wood floor.
I can wait for the day that there isn’t a trail of slush and driveway salt to the coat closet.
I can wait for the day that I don’t have to hunt down a nasty smell in a duffle.
Our foyer has three sports bags, two tote bags, one basketball and 11 pairs of male-sized shoes, but it also has the senior portraits of my two older kids who have moved on to college and taken their debris with them.
I know it will be back for breaks, but it will go away again and, eventually, there will be three senior high portraits on the wall in a pristine foyer.
I can wait.
Susan Vollenweider lives in the Northland. To listen to the women’s history podcasts that she co-hosts or to read more of her writing visit www.thehistorychicks.com or www.susanvollenweider.com.