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Monday, January 9, 2012

That's Life

My friend, Sherri, just e-mailed me this excerpt from a Paul Harvey broadcast.  I loved so much of it and it sums up what Rainman and I are trying to do as parents, that I decided I had to share it.  You have maybe read this before....but I think it is worth another look.

We tried so hard to make things better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd like better.
I'd really like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream and leftover meat loaf sandwiches.. I really would.

I hope you learn humility by being humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.

I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn and wash the car.

And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car when you are sixteen.

It will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old dog put to sleep.

I hope you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.
I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger brother/sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with you because he's scared, I hope you let him.

hen you want to see a movie and your little brother/sister wants to tag along, I hope you'll let him/her.

I hope you have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a town where you can do it safely.
On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you don't ask your driver to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.

If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you how to make one instead of buying one.

I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books. 

When you learn to use computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.

I hope you get teased by your friends when you have your first crush on a boy/girl, and when you talk back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.

May you skin your knee climbing a mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen flagpole.

I don't care if you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it... And if a friend offers you dope or a joint, I hope you realize he/she is not your friend.

I sure hope you make time to sit on a porch with your Grandma/Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle.

May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the holidays.

I hope your mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you give her a plaster mold of your hand.

These things I wish for you - tough times and disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to appreciate life.

Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I'm here for you. And if I die before you do, I'll go to heaven and wait for you. 
Wasn't that awesome?  My kids know all about sharing rooms and hand me downs. 
I shared a room for most of my childhood and yes, Karen even had a line through the center of our room that I was NOT to cross....although, if I was scared, she would let me come visit her side (and I was a bedwetter!)  When I shared with Kandi, she kept me awake many nights with her crying even when I had school the next day....but I turned out okay....and now I know a lot about taking care of babies.
My Dad wasn't big on "baby proofing" homes.  His motto was something like "Let them try it once....they won't do it again."  And, it worked.  So, yes, I think we all burned ourselves on something or other through the years....but we learned.  (We heated our house with a wood stove.)  Ask Karen to tell you about the time she tried to iron the wrinkles out of her hand.
I know what Dove soap tastes is a taste that lingers.  So, when I would have those thoughts about sassing or talking disrespectfully to Mom....I would just remember that taste that got stuck in the nooks and crannies of my teeth.  Hard to forget!
My childhood was filled with making mud pies out of driveway....I am sure my Dad didn't appreciate the ruts that my culinary creations made when he came home from work.  But, I had fun.  I also read all the time.  Oh, I watched T.V. on our 4 stations too.....but I always had a book nearby.
We did not bring our car to the car wash....ever.  Mom and Dad would just drive our car onto the front lawn and set us kids loose.  The only thing I remember not loving was when Dad decided it needed a coat of Turtle Wax....not nearly as fun as the squirting part.
I have never had black eye for fighting for something I believe in. Not sure if I want to remedy that...but I could learn to fight more.
I am also still working on adding and subtracting in my head (might be too late for that one, huh?)
But, above all.....I appreciate this wonderful life that God has blessed me with.
I will close with a Paul Harvey riddle.
What is greater than God, More evil than the devil, The poor have it, The rich need it, And if you eat it, you'll die?
Amen and Amen! (That was for you, Dad)