Monday, September 29, 2014


I would like to title a disorder, Clump disorder.   The disorder isn't new, just giving a name to something that has been a way of life for our family. When our kids were small we most often seemed to be in a clump. Whether it was sitting on the couch, watching TV in our bedroom, at a restaurant we usually chose to be in a clump.  A clump is when you crowd into a space that really isn't quite large enough for all of you, but you don't mind. Or even when you have an empty couch, you choose as a group to sit at just one end of it.  A people pile. I got a fair amount of teasing as I was always the first one to crawl away from the clump because I got all smothery feeling. Even though I declumped long before any other family member I would still highly recommend this practice. This clump thing continues to this day even though our kids are grown but now their kids prefer, the clump way of life.  It seems this clump thing is hereditary.  What we shared with our kids we now get to share with their kids.  At a restaurant much to other patrons dismay we pile into that booth that's kind of curved and we squish together.  There's usually one child that is climbing up on my husbands shoulders and stays perched as long as their parents allow.  There's noise, mostly laughter and silly games and sharing of food.    During this clump time while the one child is on the shoulders, one is making a detailed list on the back of the paper place mat for their upcoming birthday.  A list of 10 things starting with least expensive and going up.  Another one is making plans of what we are doing after we eat, so to keep the clump thing going.  Even though the meal is about finished one announces that they are still hungry.  There's a broadway performance going on with one, but with her there's always a performance going on.  The quirky one with questions like, "do prison tattoos hurt"? She was around three when she asked this and no her parents are not incarcerated.  What are we doing? Why? always asks another.  I get to hear all about the latest level of Minecraft, everything is made of candy.  And of course the cute "little" one with the binky that no matter how old she gets the cousins will probably always call her Baby Olive.  It's a loud clump, crazy clump, messy and one clump member usually ends up spraying my iphone screen with a huge sneeze.  You get the idea of the clump.  It's my own personal heaven.   I prefer it this way because as the years move along I've learned to truly embrace the simplistic yet important way of life. I called this a disorder but perhaps it's the opposite of that.  Perhaps it's the Clump mentality that actually is "in order."

In a recent conversation with a young family I realized that this lifestyle of the clump does appeal deeply to the heart.  This young mom and dad were discussing the only reason they watch a certain television show.  It's not their favorite show but there is always in each episode a scene with the entire family gathered around the dining room table eating together.  That's why they watch the show. So the clump whether it's  around the dining room table, on the couch or in the car is a much desired way of life.  I know at times I think too simply but couldn't this cure so many ills?  Can't really fight or argue when you're in a clump, you just have to get along. Maybe we could start a movement, we need a motto, a mascot, a theme song. Or, just clump.  Invite others who don't have this in their life to join yours. You'll only have to invite once.

This clump thing certainly isn't new or unexplored.  I believe the clump is what author Robert Fulgram was referring to when he wrote, "When you go out into the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together."  Maybe this order be it a "dis" or an "in" could become more the norm if we could just realize the simplicity of a pile of people and yet the importance of....what more is there?