Nothing prepared me for Motherhood than the 4 years I spent working at Party City in high school, and I don’t even mean the time I spent crafting IMPECCABLE balloon displays for kids birthday parties and baby showers, it was the Put-backs. Anyone who’s worked in this sort of retail also knows: throughout the day, when people return or decide not to buy things, those things get tossed into a shopping cart and by the end of the day it’s a very full cart, it might even be two carts, and somebody has to take the cart through the store and put everything back on the shelf. I came to love this time because it meant we were closing soon and it restored order to the store and it was just a really great time for me to steal and eat vanilla tootsie rolls or flirt with whoever was breaking down boxes (I DATED TWO OF THEM?) Cut to me 20 years later and when night comes, I’m going through the house gathering things that need to go back. The nose sucker back to bobbie’s room and my computer back down to the office and socks into the laundry and cars back into Joe’s room and paystubs into the filing cabinet and fruit back into the fridge, it’s literally all put-backs, sometimes I start putting one thing back and then I find another thing to put back and so I put that back, and another and another, and next thing I know it’s my 49th birthday and Joe’s starting high school and all of the counters are clear but I can’t remember the last time I sat in a chair, and did nothing.

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