Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Mine: A large excavation from which coal, gold, diamonds, or other minerals are excavated.

One of the consequences of being the mother of a bajillion kids is that nothing in this house belongs exclusively to me. Not my time. Not my socks. Not my Bible. Not my purse. In a pinch, not even my toothbrush.

Several months ago, I went to the closet under the stairs to retrieve "my" three-hole punch from it's designated spot on the shelf beside the tape dispenser. No hole punch. I searched every shelf in the closet. Then, every nook and cranny in the computer room. Then, the shelves and cabinets around Steve's work area. Still, no hole punch. I was perplexed - and more than a little aggravated. Why would anyone want to use my hole punch? And certainly, if someone did need the hole punch, it wouldn't be too much to ask that it be returned to its proper location, would it? Even when all the kids pitched in and helped search, we never found the hole punch. It must have gone the way of those vagrant socks that disappear after a day of laundry, leaving unmatched mates to languish in the Lonely Sock Hamper in my bedroom closet.

Last year for Christmas, Steve gave me my very own laptop. My very own - hahaha! As I plugged in this shiny new treasure, did I really think it could truly be mine? Mine, and no one else's? Long ago, the household computer - the one free for me to write on while Steve designed houses on his computer - had quickly become the general family-email, homework-research, computer-game, Grand-Central-Station computer. No doubt, my new laptop would quickly succumb to a similar fate. Except....

Except for this awesome feature: my laptop requires a password if I want to use it. For almost a year now, I have fought to keep that password secret. And, when I'm not sitting at the keyboard, I try to remember to shut the computer down and turn it off. If at all possible, I don't want to provide any opportunities for little fingers to make themselves at home here while I'm distracted elsewhere.

So far, I've held my ground pretty effectively. Except for a few English papers and college students checking Facebook on rare occasions, the computer has remained mine.

A few months ago, Steve came into the kitchen holding a jump stick (I write at the kitchen counter - my spot in the house!) "Are you on-line?"


"Can you email these drawings to Larry for me?"

I stopped typing and thought a second. "No, I'd really rather not." I don't know if I've ever said those words to Steve before. He was clearly a little taken aback by my answer. "I mean, I can send the drawings if I absolutely have to," I continued, "but, I really would rather not use my computer...if that's okay with you."

Am I taking the idea of "my computer" a bit too far? Maybe so, but it means I've been able to write more this year than in the previous 45 years put together. Besides, at any given moment, there are at least three other computers available to Steve and the kids. And so, I'm going to keep holding the line, defending my magic little password.

Come to think of it, I'm so inspired by having my very own computer that I may make a move to regain sole proprietorship of my toothbrush!

(Note: The three-hole punch quietly reappeared about three months after it went AWOL. Maybe it just needed a vacation, a little "me" time. We found it last month, sitting in its designated spot on the shelf. Very mysterious.)

1 comment:

Jennifer Ward said...

Mrs. Camille,

Your desire to have something wholely to yourself is, I think, common to many moms. One of the events from Steph's and my childhood that we'll always remember is The Hairbrush Incident. Onde day my mom's hairbrush mysteriously went missing. Mom went psycho---I think it must have been the last straw. lol At least you've reined in your "lost it" moments! ;)