Monday, March 26, 2012

If All The World Were Blind

"The real comforts [necessities] of life cost but a small portion of what most of us can earn. Dr. Franklin says 'It is the eyes of others and not our own eyes which ruin us. If all the world were blind except myself I should not care for fine clothes or furniture.' It is the fear of what Mrs. Grundy may say that keeps the noses of many worthy families to the grindstone. In America many persons like to repeat 'we are all free and equal,' but it is a great mistake in more senses than one.
"That we are born 'free and equal' is a glorious truth in one sense, yet we are not all born equally rich, and we never shall be. ...
"...[Y]ou will not get ahead in the world, if your vanity and envy thus take the lead. In this country, where we believe the majority ought to rule, we ignore that principle in regard to fashion, and let a handful of people, calling themselves the aristocracy, run up a false standard of perfection, and in endeavoring to rise to that standard, we constantly keep ourselves poor; all the time digging away for the sake of outside appearances. How much wiser to be a 'law unto ourselves' and say, 'we will regulate our out-go by our income, and lay up something for a rainy day.' People ought to be as sensible on the subject of money-getting as on any other subject. Like causes produces like effects. You cannot accumulate a fortune by taking the road that leads to poverty. It needs no prophet to tell us that those who live fully up to their means, without any thought of a reverse in this life, can never attain a pecuniary independence."

-P.T. Barnum, 1810-1891

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Lepercon

Last Friday, my son came home from school spilling with stories about the "Lepercon" that his class almost caught (I've loved imagining what a Lepercon looks like). He told me how his class created a trap to catch the Leprechaun, and while they were at recess the Leprechaun was trapped, but was able to escape. His little footprints were sure evidence of his visit, along with a taunting message that said, "HeHeHe. You'll never catch me." And then my son said, "I can't wait to try and catch him tonight!" I grinned, but inside I shook my fist at his school.
You see, a Leprechaun never visited my house when I was growing up (and I'm starting to worry that every holiday will soon have a mysterious visitor that requires unique and creative efforts to appease them: Cupid, Uncle Sam, a pilgrim...) Judging by reports I've heard from other children, I'm not sure I want to invite a Leprechaun into my home either. From what I can gather, they craftily escape from traps, leave messes, and use your toilet without flushing leaving a toilet full of green water. But, my son was so excited, and so I agreed that we would indeed have to build a trap. But, we forgot all about it and my son was long asleep before I realized that we had not built a trap.
The next morning, miraculously on our dining room table sat a black bowl filled with gold-wrapped candy ontop of a paper that read, "Happy St. Patrick's Day", that was decorated with clover stickers and footprints. My son was very excited to find this when he woke up. And it was fun to see him so happy. 
An hour later my son confronted me, "Mom? Did you set this up?" "Why would I do that?" I responded innocently. My son studied the sign, and went on to explain every inconsistency that it held in comparison to the day before. And there was no taunting message. But, the nail in the coffin was the footprints. They were all wrong. (Inside I shook my fist at his school again). And then he pressured me again. Now I was the one that was trapped. So I confessed. And my son's surprised face created immediate remorse within my heart. "Why?" he asked. "We forgot to build a trap." I responded. And somehow my son was satisfied. But a part of me mourned the death of a Leprechaun that I never wanted in the first place. Ironic, no?
Later that day I overheard my son bragging to a friend that the Leprechaun brought him candy. He mentioned the good fortune to me a couple more times that afternoon. I was a bit confused, but didn't press the issue. I assume that my son has concluded that I set up the bowl in order for the Leprechaun to leave us candy. 
A St. Patrick's Day miracle, indeed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Zebra Question

I asked the zebra,
Are you black with white stripes?
Or white with black stripes?
And the zebra asked me,
Are you good with with bad habits?
Or are you bad with good habits?
Are you noisy with quiet times?
Or are you quiet with noisy times?
Are you happy with some sad days?
Or are you sad with some happy days?
Are you neat with some sloppy ways?
Or are you sloppy with some neat ways?
And on and on and on and on
And on and on he went.
I'll never ask a zebra
About stripes

-Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

What is Truth?

Recently, I was filling out a physical history form in preparation for an upcoming doctor's appointment. I always feel compelled to answer their questions with complete honesty. This is my health, afterall. Sometimes, though, it leads to serious conundrums over how I should answer.
For example, how am I supposed to answer the following question, "Fill in the circle to the left of each activity which you have difficulty performing on your own?" Do I fill in the circle next to 'housekeeping' or not? My answer is, "Yes". My husband says that's not the question they're asking.
Another question asks, "Do you ever feel afraid in your home?" Again, my answer is, "Yes". There are times when I hear strange sounds outside and I feel afraid. My husband, on the other hand, has told me that's not the question they're asking, and I'd better check "No" on that one.
Seems to me that doctors shouldn't ask such vague questions.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Is This News?

According to USA Today, stress can test newlyweds. I ask myself... is this news? How about, "Stress Can Test Marriage"? (I don't think you're in the free and clear after you've endured the honeymoon stage. At least that hasn't been my experience...)

"[A] bride sighed blissfully on her wedding day, 'Mom, I'm at the end of all my troubles!' 'Yes,' replied her mother, 'but at which end?'" -Elder Bruce C. Hafen

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Time Flies

Last night, as I tucked my son into bed, this sweet conversation took place:

My Son: "Mom, in college do you have time to email?"
Me: "Yes. Sometimes you have time between classes, and also at the end of the day."
My Son: "Good. When I'm not in class, I'm going to email you."
Me: "Good."

It is cute to see my son preparing for the future, and keeping us a part of it. It seems like just yesterday he was playing T-ball and we were playing catch with him in the front yard. Wait... that was just yesterday! I can't think about this!