The Opposite of Zen: Getting A Teen Packed for a Trip

So this probably started about a week ago.

Jade, do you know what you will be taking with you to Europe?

I know. I have time. 

Repeat above question a zillion times and repeat above answer a zillion times, and you know what our house has been sounding like for the last 7 days.

Then the volcano exploded (or otherwise known as mom couldn’t take it one minute longer.)

Jade, you have 2 days until you go. Get your stuff together and get organized. Pleeeeaaaaaaase.

I will. I have been. It is all in my bedroom.

Oh, that word, “bedroom” is a scary word. It conjures up socks thrown in all directions, piles of clothing tossed amongst sheets, a comforter pushed aside and who knows what on the floor.

I fear going in to look. I try to let my imagination stay in a happy positive place. But still my curiosity kills me and I enter.

I see the red backpack on the floor, stuff all over the desk, piles of what appears to be random clothing and I leave, hyperventilating.

This kid will never get to Europe at this rate. She will show up with the clothes on her back while others will be dragging huge suitcases.

Jade is, what we call, a minimalist.

Case in point… after having travelled Peru for a week or so, we finally found a place to do laundry. While everyone else in the family had plenty to throw in, she declared she had nothing that needed cleaning. She seems to never have anything that needs cleaning! Yes, she is cheap on the water bill.

So when I woke up this morning, I told Chris that I must be grinding my teeth. My head felt like it was going to fall off but I am certain it was this…

It was Friday. Jade leaves Sat. The packing must get done.

Chris steps in. He is a masterful negotiator; he manages us like we are Israel and Palestine. 

Jade stomps upstairs as I insist oh so politely that I must see all the belongings to go in one place. 

She insists oh so politely that I am the new Monica (from the TV show, Friends) of travelling; apparently a tad controlling, and a bit too overbearing. 

I let that go. (or I try to)

Chris sits off to the side, ready to jump in if needed, and we get down to backpack business.

A lot of eye rolls later,  a few comments made, exasperated sighs overly emphasized and the finish line is in sight.

We break out the chocolate almonds to celebrate and then I (or Monica) say:

Now remember Jade when you get there, you need to…

And then she yells, I know! I have travelled before! I know all this stuff!

And I quietly retreat, agreeing in my head, that she is probably right.

Jade does know her stuff. Her mom just hasn't "realized it yet".  A lesson in letting go. (or trying to)

Jade does know her stuff. Her mom just hasn’t “realized it yet”. A lesson in letting go. (or trying to)

On finally being ready for Europe. The packing is done and now the fun can begin.

On finally being ready for Europe. The packing is done and now the fun can begin.