A friend's post on Instagram this morning triggered a memory for me.
The Memory: One day in the 6th grade, the office secretary's voice came over the loud speaker. "Mrs. Colson, please send Stacy Hall to the office. Her mother is here and she needs to return home to make her bed." Now might be a good time to tell you that I called my mother this morning to check the accuracy of this recollection with her. I've told this story a number of times over the years, but now as 51 year-old woman I wanted to make sure that it is in fact true. My mother confirmed this horrifying memory for me. She really did that. Crazy, right? Or, not ...
The Message: Was my mother really that concerned for the cleanliness of my little-girl bedroom or was there perhaps something more to her actions. This is the part that she didn't reveal to me, but I am uniquely wired for discerning the big-picture meaning in everyday moments and I believe that what my mom was attempting to teach me is that while being our best public self is important, what truly matters is what we do in the private spaces of our life. Once you close that bedroom door, no one will see the unmade bed, but making the bed can send a powerful message to your pysche, "YOU are willing to spend the time to take care of the small, unseen things that shape habits and over time, character." This is what I'm crediting my mom for teaching me that day.
Interesting to note: Mom told me that she did this same thing for each of my siblings. I did not know that. She said, "It only took once. After that, beds were made."
For the record: Two of my offspring have already left my care without ever being called home to make their unmade bed. Be it here known that I will not let this happen for those who have not yet left my nest. Yes, that's a warning!
Perhaps you should now go make YOUR bed. And, lest you assume I make my bed every day, I don't. But, I do make my bed most days.
One more thing. Tammy Clayton replied to my Instagram post with an invitation to watch this short excerpt on YouTube, from a Navy Seal Admiral. I especially love the notion that if by chance you have a miserable day, you'll come home to a bed that is made!