That must have started at age 5, when my little brother was born. My job was to keep the diaper bag full and ready to roll. Mom says that I did a darn good job, and that she always had what she needed in that bag. I still pack a mean diaper bag.
But I digress. When I was 12, one of my cousins and I got together to plan the “perfect purse contents”. What I wouldn’t give to see that list now! What was important to the 12 year old me, and what was necessary to carry with me? All I remember is that you needed a good supply of lip gloss (the roll on liquid kind that was popular at the time), a sewing kit, a quarter for pay phones (which was more than enough at the time, kleenex, and a comb. I read a lot of etiquette books at the time, although they were somewhat outdated. I followed them, however, with the exception of a fresh pair of white gloves tucked in a pocket.
Flash forward some 30 years, and let’s dump out the contents of my purse:
My glasses, should I have to drive some distance and have strained eyes
Sunglasses, in case the sun should ever make an appearance in our area…but they are for the baby, who cannot possibly be expected to endure that bright thing burning him in the eyes as we drive.
My PDA, equipped with documents that I might want to review at any time, such as the list of scrapbooking pages that I want to create, my mission statement and patriarchal blessing, and the lesson that I’m preparing for church next week. It also has all of my contacts, my calendar, and task lists…synced with Outlook on my computer. At least it was synced sometime a month or so ago…hmmm…guess I should check that.
My cell phone, which replaces the rollage of coin that would be required to use a pay phone these days, IF you could even find one!
Flash drive, in case I need to copy something to or from any computer that I might come in contact with
At least 6 tubes of lip gloss, three of which are the same shade but in varying degrees of “out”…which I cannot throw out because I might be able to get one or two more applications from the tube. Apparently, the lip gloss is really the only thing that matters at any point in your life!
A tiny pair of scissors in case I need to cut something
Nail file and clippers – the item most often rummaged for!
Various medications, including Tylenol for the baby…meds for asthma, allergies, headache, and heartburn.
Pens, which one should never be without. What if you have a thought!? (one that you can’t record on your PDA, obviously)
Toy cars of all sizes and shapes. Although on this particular day, I had only one, which the baby had given me as I left the house the other day. He always gives me a hug, a kiss, and a car when I’m going to be gone. Usually, however, I have a Ziploc baggy of cars, to keep us amused anywhere we might be bored.
And of course, my CAMERA and extra batteries!
My dad has always complained about me packing things around. I don’t travel light. I want to make sure that anything that I might need is with me. I plan for any contingency. So what if I don’t touch half of the things that I packed? At least they were there if I needed them! I usually have a book or notebook, so that I am not wasting time at any delay. I can write, I can read, I can plan. I hate feeling like I’m wasting time.
Dad says that to go on vacation, you need only put an extra pair of underwear in your pocket, then buy what you need when you get there. He’s obviously never travelled with a 2 year old!
ONE time, I packed as my dad would have liked. We were headed to a Rodeo out of state, and travelling in a camper. He vehemently warned us of what would happen if we packed too much stuff in the camper. I was good. I took only what I needed.
We stopped one night at a KOA campground, and it was hot and we were dusty and travel-weary. “Go grab your swimsuits!” Dad called happily. “They have a swimming pool!”
I had no swimming suit. Who needs a swimming suit to camp at a Rodeo? So I had to watch the boys all frolic in their shorts and t’s in the pool. I never packed lightly again.
As I am reviewing this, I realize that I’m missing some things…Kleenex, for one, which was depleted the last time the baby had a cold and realized that he could pull them out one by one while I talked with friends.
Guess it’s time to make another list!