Don’t Move My Stapler

Top of the line, Swingline.

Top of the line, Swingline.

When I was a kid, my dad had this stapler in his office labeled “Do Not Touch, Return to Dad’s Office.”

I remember thinking what’s the big deal, it’s just a stapler. Then I took that stapler and wrote STEVEN PATRICK MORRISSEY in big yellow letters across the top of it with paint pens and added some whimsical flowers to boot. There, I won’t move your stapler anymore, because, now it’s mine. I mean, what kind of people use a stapler so frequently that moving it from it’s location would be such an ordeal? (Don’t answer that).

But my dad had his stuff in his office and we were not to touch it.

If you have kids you know they touch everything. Nothing is sacred.

No. They touch everything.

I can see why my dad was like “back off my stapler” like that guy from Office Space. It’s like “just don’t touch this one thing! You can touch everything else, just not this one thing!” Garden of Eden, people, Garden of Eden.

Today was a tough day for our family. It wasn’t anything life threatening nor did we suffer anything of great loss or value, but for us it was a pretty sucky day.

Christmas day was sucky. 

I know you find that hard to believe after scrolling through your news feed and insta’s of smiling kids opening gifts they have anticipated all year and happy families smiling in front of their trees. But for this little family of four (five if you count the goldfish that never ends) our day sucked. (I’ve got to stop using that word).

I won’t go into details (it’s none of your business), but suffice it to say that today was a reminder that 3% of being a mommy is what you may expect or be prepared for and 97% of it is think and act fast…feel all the things later. It was also a reminder that I cannot shield my kids from the unfavorable big feelings of sadness they feel when something does not go their way.

When they feel disappointed.

I like to think I do a good job of allowing them to express themselves and to feel the range of emotions that come with growing up, but today the truth was revealed.

I work hard (even if subconsciously) to shield my kids from hurting.

Ugh. That one hits me right in the gut. I know better. I went to school for this kind of stuff.

Today, however, I could not shield my kids from the reality of our truth. Yeah, even on Christmas day I could not be their hero. That sucked (there’s that word again!). I wasn’t even going to write this up, but I thought to myself that I can’t be the only one who had a sucky Christmas. I know there are people out there who fell short of expectations, that they built this day up so big in their minds and that something or someone just didn’t come through.

I wrote this for those people. Because it’s okay to have a sucky Christmas. Just because this day didn’t go your way, there are still amazing things to cling to. On a sucky Christmas, you just have to focus your eyes on the things that you do have.

My prayer today was that we wouldn’t look back on this year and say “remember the year that Christmas sucked” (because I torture myself like that), but rather it just becomes another Christmas in our book of being with our family and focusing our eyes on the reason we celebrate this day in the first place. Jesus.


I'm a simple girl, really.

I’m a simple girl, really.

I got a stapler for Christmas this year. I wrote a list out with two things: a stapler and a foam roller. I got both.

I promptly labeled my stapler “MOMMY” and told my kids do not touch my stapler – they have already broken three of my staplers – seriously, this family and their staplers.

But as I put my kids to bed, I realized that my dad was indeed on to something. Maybe the reason he wanted his stapler returned to the exact same place every time was because in this parenting gig, you cannot count on much. You cannot count on the ball to stop, it keeps moving and you have to keep tracking and try to stay one step ahead. You are never one step ahead.

See, if your stapler is in the same place every time you go to look for it, maybe, just maybe, that’s the one thing you can count on as being constant.

It’s silly, I know, but it’s my silly.

Now, DO NOT move my stapler!!


Categories: All The Rest

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