O is for Organized

O is for Organized.

At the end of the school year our third grader was given an assignment that would be viewed by the fourth grade teachers. The assignment was:

Write about something you have lost and how it made you feel.

Sounds like a reasonable assignment right? Well not for our son because he has never lost something. He spent a half an hour stomping around and complaining that he wouldn’t be able to do his homework. I suggested he write something abstract like “losing your way” or “losing your belief in something”. I was quickly rebuffed. “Well, I guess you’ll have to pretend you lost something,” I told him and quickly got lost myself.

Here is what he wrote….


I noticed that when it came back a few days later it was not graded. “What did the teacher think of your writing assignment?” I asked him. “She didn’t like it at all and she made me do it over in class,” he replied. Personally I thought the essay was clever, succinct and organized. He addressed the question, supported his argument, and finished with a personal statement: an editor’s dream. Even college students struggle with this and spend semesters rewriting term papers. This is not easy stuff.

Not only was his essay well organized it was also introspective. He is an organized person. He gets that trait from me (as he cites) and I get it from my mother. My mom loved reading his assignment. “Boy the apple doesn’t fall far!” she observed. I’m grateful for this trait and I’m thankful that my son has it too. He takes good care of his things and knows where they are – which is why he doesn’t lose them!

It’s interesting to observe yourself through your children’s words, actions and personality. They reflect the good and the bad in us. Hopefully with his organized mind he’ll be able to identify those qualities and keep the good and throw away the bad. He may not have completed the assignment per his teacher’s liking but we all enjoyed it. He’ll be able to look back and laugh at it with his children because his organized mom is going to file it away carefully.