If there is one thing we've learned not to do, it is open the brunette twin's closet or dresser drawers. Bad things happen when I go into her room and peak "under the covers" so to speak. From the surface it looks like any other tween girl's room with a little mess here and there.
When you open the closet, though, it's like something from a television sitcom. There are floor piles and empty hangers and overloaded shelves. The empty hangers remind me that she has a lot of clothes, just not in her closet. Neither Daddy nor I go into her closet without sending a warning.
In one now-famous moment, the brunette twin cleaned her dresser. She showed it off with pride. I looked towards her closet. She smiled, put her hand on my chin to turn my face back to her dresser. She smiled and said something like, "Let's focus on the positive shall we?"
Since she started middle school, I can see how much the brunette twin struggles with the daily responsibilities of changing classes, managing honors classes and the homework, and just finding her place. Sometimes she cries because she's so overwhelmed.
I read a magazine article once in which a psychologist responded to a reader's letter. The woman was frustrated that her teenage son's room was always a mess. She said it drove her crazy that it was so disorganized at home, while being such a steller student. The psychologist noted that she worried about kids who were too organized at home and school. She said that kids needed a place to let down their "perfect" shield and just be kids. She told the mother to back-off if the mess wasn't affecting his schoolwork or social life.
I've tried to keep that in mind as the brunette twin figures out how to navigate middle school. As long as she maintains some semblance of order on the surface, I don't open her closets nor to I look in her dresser drawers. Eventually I will enforce some order, but for now her room is her sanctuary.