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“what is the most important thing you’ve learned in your life so far?”

My blogging friend KSBETH asks this question on her wise and observant blog, I didn’t have my glasses on….

Well, I’m really old, so I’ve had time to learn important things from many people:

Sister Mary Second Grade:

  • I before E except after C (or when sounded like A as in neighbor and weigh).
  • If you put a spin on the side of the ball in kickball, your girls’ team will mop the playground with the boys’ team. It’s all down to exactly how you kick their balls.

For more humor, kids, pets, death, and other (mostly) funny stuff, please check out my book! [click on image for previews, reviews, and buy links from Amazon] 

Sister Mary Third Grade:

  • Always wear nice underwear in case you get hit by a bus. [NOTE: Sister would NOT have been pleased to hear we modified this a few years later to include shaving your legs and the possibility of a hot date…]

Sisters Mary Fourth-Twelfth Grades:

  • Remember girls: teenage boys are raging masses of single-minded hormones. And they smell bad. [NOTE: over these years, our reaction to this piece of advice went from abject horror to the spirit of scientific inquiry demanding that we reproduce the Sisters’ results. Lots.]
  • Don’t show your nice underwear to anyone (boy or bus) until after you’re married. [See above note…]

My Mother:

  • Bailey’s Irish Cream for when you’re well, and a hot toddy for when you’re not.
  • If you get an offer, give it a shot. The age of slavery is over, so if you don’t like your job (Or your house. Or your date…), you can vote with your feet.

My Father:

  • Check the fluids. And carry jumper cables.
  • There’s always plenty of food and a bed for family. (If you rang our doorbell at dinner time and you were a cousin, knew a cousin, or correctly guessed the partial name of a cousin, you were brought in, another plate was jammed into the dozen already set up, and you got the first serving of pot roast. Meanwhile, kids were evicted from the “guest” room and you were urged to stay the night. At least.)

    This wasn’t our family but scary similar… [Image credit: Wings Daily News]

The Hub (an Economist):

  • There’s something called M1. If you’re not very, very careful he’ll tell you what it is. Lots.

My Children:

Some things I taught my children—how to tie their shoes, drive a car, do their own laundry, sew on a button, and not mix stripes with plaid. Some things they just figured out on their own (or IDK in the streets or somewhere)—how to tell jokes, draw, write, travel the world, and rock the stripe/plaid mix. Some things they learned from others—foreign languages, social media outlets that are NSF mamas, and how to make a mean risotto out of an almost empty larder.

But some things, some really important things, they teach me every day—the joys of discovery, passion for justice, practice of compassion, and therapeutic value of the group mani/pedi.

Learning from some of my best teachers…


What is the most important thing you’ve learned in your life so far?