Jan Risher -

The broken ponytail band on my front porch convinced me that my daughters believe in magic. Clearly, they believe fairies take wing at night and pick up all the bits and pieces that land on the floor or cabinet or table. In their minds, tidy Tinkerbelles surely flit and fly and deal with all the things they’re just too busy — or otherwise preoccupied to take care of.

They are busy people, you know.

What with summer.

There are texts to send.

Songs to sing.

Books to read.

Games to play.

Camps to attend.

Who has time to bend down and pick up a broken ponytail band? Or that little tab you pull off to open a carton of orange juice? Or the plastic around the new bottle of fingernail polish? Or the tiny hanger on the pair of socks? Or the countless guitar picks that apparently breed in my closets and atop my coffee tables?

And again, really, why would you bother yourself with such details when there are tidy Tinkerbelles to take care of these issues?

I’m not sure when it is that reality sets in with pre-teens and their slightly older and more stubborn older versions, the full-scale teen models — reality being defined as realizing that someone else shouldn’t have to and, at this point, isn’t going to pick it up/turn it off/wipe it clean/throw it away if you put it there/turned it on/made it messy/created the trash.

Let the record show that this decree has been issued.

We shall see what transpires. Therefore, as Debbie Ray’s sister-in-law Diane says, “If you come to see me, come any time. If you come to see my house, call first.”