I’m not a list person. Which is kind of like saying that the Titanic didn’t float too good.
DJ loves lists. It brings order and structure to his day. And I get that. I really do. Just like the steel bars of a cell give order and structure to the prisoners trapped behind them. Oops, I think my editorializing is showing.
Recently I realized that since my children owe half their genes to DJ, some of them might enjoy lists. With a couple of bedrooms in a state of utter disaster, I figured I might ease the job by writing out exactly what was expected of each person.
Children #s 1-3 did not respond well. One glanced at the list long enough to kind of remember all the items, then abandoned it. One couldn’t find the list so had no idea what had to be accomplished. One looked over the list and burst into tears at the terrible weight of what had to be done. None of them bothered to find a pencil to mark anything off.
Then Child #4 received his list. At first he was dismayed at all the words (which he can’t read yet). Then I showed him how it worked: “This is the first job. When you get it done, write an X in the little box.”
“Or,” Ranger said, eyeing the list with interest, “a checkmark.”
Ranger conquered that list. Item 1, check! Item 2, check! Where did my pen go? Wait, I didn’t write a checkmark on this one! Did we do this one yet?
When the list was all done, Ranger drew a smiley face on the list. Because that’s how he felt.
I watched my happy child, reveling in the joy of lists like his father and grandmother do, and was pretty sure I heard God speaking.
“List-genes installed in fourth child. Check.”
And all of heaven laughed at me.