IMPORTANT DISCOVERY: YOU *ARE* PREPARED! FOR ALL THE THINGS! Unless you’re actually ready for them, in which case you’re not prepared at all.

School starts in 7 days.

We have nothing ready.

Nothing.

NO things, to be exact, unless you count the grubby, holey clothes my children already own, in which I fully intend to send them to school.

This is OK with me.

This is fine.

I’m over new school clothes and over new school shoes. Statistically, only 1 out of every 5 Woolsey children gives a poop about wearing clean, new clothes to school, and that one is already away at college and therefore theoretically capable of worrying about her own damn clothes this year. The rest of the minions? All of my efforts are lost on them. ALL OF THEM. EVERY EFFORT = LOST. They do not care, friends. And so, because I have neither the time nor the funds to artificially care on their behalf in order to meet a social standard for dressing and shodding children in overpriced gear so I can hold my head up in the mommy circles, I also do not care.

But people seem to want me to care. And to be prepared.

Are You Prepared for Back-to-School? <— I keep seeing articles with titles like this. And every time I think, “Hahahaha! NO. No, I’m not prepared. I didn’t have time to wash myself today; OF COURSE I’M NOT PREPARED FOR NEXT WEEK. What kind of a dumbass question is ARE YOU PREPARED?”

But then I started to wonder what prepared means, exactly.

Prepared.

Prepared.

Pared before.

What’s pared and why to I want to be before that?

And so, because I love words, I looked up the etymology of prepare. The history. The original meaning. And you know what I learned, guys? THIS IS SO GREAT. For reals. SO, SO great…

Ready?…

IMG_1430Prepared is derived from two Latin words: prae which means before and parare which means make ready.

Literally, the word prepare means before making ready.

Guys! Guys. Guys. To be prepared does not mean we are making ready. It means we are before making ready.

If we are prepared — if we are preparing — we are prior to making ready. We not yet making ready. We are not arrived at making ready.

Which means I AM SO PREPARED, y’all.

Next time people ask me, “Are you prepared for school to start?” I can say, “YES! I TOTALLY AM!” I am COMPLETELY before making ready. No school supplies in sight. No schedules or lists. No carpool arrangements. No clothes. No shoes. NOTHING. Nada. Zilch. Zippo. I AM COMPLETELY PREPARED.

THIS IS WHY LANGUAGE IS IMPORTANT, FRIENDS; it helps you EXPLAIN THINGS.

So, in case you’re in the same boat as me with school about to start or already started and you have not made ready, then YOU ARE PREPARED. Unless you’ve made ready, in which care you’re not prepared at all, and we feel sad for you.

With love and GREAT PREPAREDNESS,

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
13 comments
  1. I love you. I’m TOTALLY PREPARED and knowing this make my week. So thanks for that.

  2. Ha ha, LOVE this! I am SOOOOO prepared, ALL the time!! Thanks for making me feel like a good mom with every one of your posts! I think the majority of us are in the same boat – sort of floating, sort of sink all of the time. Together, we are strong! And we are all great moms! <3

    1. PS, my kids started 2 weeks ago, and I’m STILL not ready!

  3. My son is “super efficient” (his words!) and takes a shower sometime at night. I don’t know when because he’s 15 and can manage himself, and I’m already asleep by the time that shower occurs. he then dresses in shorts and tshirt most likely picked up off the floor and sleeps in them. This allows him to wake up literally 5 minutes before we are due to leave in the morning and brush his teeth. Cause, he’s ALREADY dressed, right? Wrinkled and bed-headed, but dressed. Hey, it works for us. I’m ecstatic his teeth get brushed. Obviously, I am a great parent who is succeeding at doing as little as possible.

    1. He brushed his teeth of his own accord, I’m impressed

  4. Mine are ready, but the big one is still not asleep and the little one only fell asleep one hour ago. It is 23.00 over here and school starts at 8.30 tomorrow morning.
    I’m only ready for bed in my head. And prepared physically to go to bed. SO now I should start the making ready for bed, but I’m soon tired. And the washing machine just reminded me it is still busy, so I will need to go and empty it once it is done, or it will have worked for nothing.
    Thanks for the waving – we can always count on you to wave, thank you for that as well.

    1. I’m so tired, with two o’s, not “soon”, thank you very much spell checker

      1. and two o’s because very very, not because I don’t know how to spell, which I don’t, but I do a little bit, which is a good thing, because it’s what I get paid (also a little bit, but I’m not complaining!!) for

    2. You just reminded me I have laundry in the washing machine. From two days ago. *sigh*

      1. You’re welcome – or should I say I’m sorry? Hug!

  5. I am SO glad to hear this, and to find out that we too are prepared. Unfortunately, my son does care about silly things like this. He keeps putting me off until “tomorrow.” I have this sinking feeling that we will be hitting Labor Day sales. Like, at the end of Labor Day.

  6. OMG, Beth. I smile when I scroll down my wall and see that you’ve made a new post, because inevitably, invariably, it means I will smile. I will laugh out loud. And I will be grateful that it’s not just me.

    My kids actually started yesterday, so I’m already ready already. Or as much as you can be when you’re sending your stressed-out, high anxiety Asperger son to his first day of Middle School. The sister in 2nd is a breeze. (Does she want to be Liv or Maddie today?)

    Momrades, we are ALL prepared! Thank you (again), Beth!

  7. 🙂

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