Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This Much I Know

I used to read a parenting advice column with a section entitled "This Much I Know." Now this was usually followed by what was, in my humble opinion, fairly iffy advice, but I still like the title. I like it because it doesn't claim to be what everyone else should know or do, but it's a simple statement of what the author knows. How do you argue with that? The answer is straightforwardly delicious--you can't. You can't argue with what someone else claims to know for themselves. You may "know" they're wrong, but it's not called "This Much You Know," now is it?

In that vein, I've been thinking about some things lately, and this is what I know:

I know with every fiber of my being that as soon as I am thoroughly tired of Coldplay's overplayed hit "Viva la Vida" and cringe when it comes on the radio, my little brother will come home from Mongolia, discover it and fall in love with it--entirely because it contains the line "Missionaries in a foreign fi-eld." He will then proceed to listen to it over and over and over again, just when the rest of us are ready to put it in a time capsule and never speak of it again--until VH1 does a "I Love 2008" special and we feel nostalgic.

I know that despite me talking him up and showing her his pictures every day in an effort to prepare her, my usually friendly daughter will suddenly develop "stranger danger" and be completely terrified of her Uncle when he does step off the plane from Mongolia in eight weeks. I also know that if he smells anything like some of the Mongolian "crafts," he's sent home, I won't blame her for screaming.

I know that "the world is changing." I simply don't care. No amount of telling me to "get with the times" or "relax" about the standards of the rest of the world are going to make me change what I choose to teach my children and believe myself. No amount of teaching honesty, morality, generosity or decency is wasted breath, but I can promise you that telling me to "just be cool" is. If I didn't care about being cool in high school, why in the world would I care now that I have another human life to take responsibilty for? If you want to waste your breath complaining about the hopelessness of good teaching, do it without wasting my time, because I'm busy fighting an uphill battle, not a hopeless one.

I know that what people do is more important than what they say. This is why I'm not a democrat.

I know that my DVR is going to make me choose between "Reaper" and "Better Off Ted" next week, and it's not a choice I want to have to make.

I know that hard work is the cornerstone of success in any field, including the home. I know that our welfare system is broken because it doesn't seem to realize that.

I know that Sam's nap lengths are inversely proportional to the things I have to do while she's sleeping. If I have a lot of chores, her nap will be short. If I have nothing to do, she will sleep for hours. It's a law of the universe.

I know that the only things I "deserve" are products or services I've already paid for. In full. The only blessings I'm entitled to are the ones I've already earned. God, the government, or the universe at large don't owe me anything else, but often graciously give me more than I "deserve," for which I am grateful.

I know that for every single parenting choice I make, someone in my life thinks I am a moron (or too uptight, too permissive, too strict, insert skeptical word choice here), but I know that they aren't raising my kid, and I'm doing what I believe to be best. I also know I'm not raising theirs, and I should remember that when I'm busy thinking they are a moron for their parenting choices. I'm getting there. Slowly.

I know that Heavenly Father loves me, and has filled in the gaps for me countless times when my best has failed to be good enough. I will never be able to deny that, no matter how long I live. I feel supported every single day, and the worse things are in the rest of my life, the stronger I feel that love, without fail.

I know that my worst moments will continue to be replaced by even worse moments throughout my life, but if I continue to rely on my faith, I will get through them, better for the wear.

I know that when Daniel comes home, he will be hungry for dinner, but as to what I'm going to make, now that, I just don't know.


Natalie said...

I LOVE this post...but then, is that statement losing its value...since I say that about pretty much everything you write?!?

Anyway, it looks to me as if you know quite a lot. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Pretty site, and I love the way you think. And...choose Reaper! Though I also like Better Off Ted. If you want to continue to have this hard choice, help us save Reaper! It's not too late (we hope!) Check us out at

Blake & Alyssa said...

So...I know we don't know each other all that well, but I did happen to work for your husband for quite some time and I think that counts for something! :) That being said, I happen to think that you're one of the most interesting people I have ever "read" about. I don't know why we don't do anything together, especially since we live a few doors away from each other. I think since I don't work for Daniel anymore we're officially allowed to be friends. :) I won't claim to be as profound, logical, realistic or funny as you are, nor do I possess the extensive vocabulary that you do :), but I do think we'd hit it off...

Daniel said...

Sorry for the long disappearance, but call me anytime Alyssa! I know how isolating that "one small baby" stage can be, and I'm happy for a reason to leave the house whenever!