Saturday, September 25, 2010

Chocolate, Cheese, and Lessons from Little People

Defenestration--as in "Mom, I saw a great picture of the Defenestration of Prague today"--is a great word. It doesn't slither off the tongue quite as deliciously as "plethora" or "thither," but it's still very nice. I should mention that the child describing defenestration (the act of throwing someone out of the window, by the way, in this case in political protest) is my 15-year old son. The same son apparently counts "extirpate" as one of his favorite words. I am ashamed to say I had to look that one up. I should, perhaps, worry that my teenager has his head filled with destruction, intellectually phrased or not. Given his ready wit and kind heart, however, I have decided in favor of amusement rather than horror.

I love that my sons have begun to embrace their inner nerdiness. My oldest son called from college this week,excited about his work in behavior analysis and describing the psychoanalytical theories of Anna Freud (Sigmund's daughter) with the same alacrity he used to display when describing a great snowboarding run in the powder of the Utah Rockies. These impromptu lessons in European history and child development are just the most recent of lessons I have learned from my children. I have learned a plethora (see, doesn't that slither nicely?) of lessons over the years at the feet of my offspring. The following are some of the highlights.

* The world has not created a food that cannot be improved by adding either chocolate or cheese. If chocolate won't fit the bill, cheese will. Trust me on this one. I have tried in vain to prove the theory wrong.

* Napoleon was not the last little person to rule an empire. Our 3 pound, 10 ounce daughter took the throne from her very first breath, and the age of the semi-benevolent dictator continues, four years later.

* A person who speaks with confidence can sound believable, even profound, even when he makes no sense whatsoever.

* Pajamas are world's most versatile fashion, acceptable for nearly any occasion, particularly school and particularly when worn with slippers in the middle of winter.

* Chill out. Relax through teenage driving adventures, surprise schedule changes, broken appliances, unexpected bills, bad hair days, and other calamities large and small. Listen to Bob Marley and remember that "every little thing is gonna be all right."

* A little computer time goes a long way. Alternatively, play games, cuddle, throw a frisbee, read silly stories, or dance. Your children, your husband, your dog, and your eyes will thank you.

* Wrinkled clothes and messy hair do not necessarily signify a flawed character.

* And finally, loving until your heart hurts may be more terrifying than bungee jumping, but it is also more wonderful than a million Lake Champlain chocolate truffles or even a lifetime pass to Disneyland.

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