Okay, so tonight we're sitting around the dinner table, anticipating the Harry Potter book coming out on Saturday (at midnight on Friday, actually), and my boys start to list the first chapters of every book. From memory. Many years after reading them.
Then they start to list their favorite chapters ever...and each one of them not only remembers what happened in that particular chapter, they remember the book it appeared in as well.
I was floored. I can't remember where I left my car keys and they remember the title to the first chapter of the fourth Harry Potter book.
So then answer me this: why can't they remember to start the dishwasher?
Why can't they remember to feed the dog?
Why can't they remember to pick up the mail from the mailbox?
I know why. None of these tasks - or any of the other four dozen I could name in one minute's time capture their imagination and their interest as powerfully as do the stories they found on the pages of each Harry Potter book. I'd love to believe they would accomplish these small duties simply for the sake of doing them; for the sake of pitching in; for the sake of scraps of sanity I'm trying desperately to hold onto.
Then I remember: oh, yeah. They're teenagers. And they're pretty normal. One day, they'll wonder why their own kids can't seem to remember to cap the toothpaste or put the milk away. I hope they won't be too hard on them. I hope they remember the night they sat around naming Harry Potter chapters, and recall the kinds of things that captured their minds and attention as teenagers. It certainly wasn't mowing the lawn.