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This Wonderful Life

February 13, 2009

This Wonderful Life

The imperfections make it better

Once a week, on Fridays, Bee has homework.

Just a few weeks into the school year, she figured out that the most efficient and reliable way to ensure that she remembered to do it was to do it immediately after she got home from school on Fridays.

Bee makes her bed (almost) every morning. She is the only member of the household who does that. She knows how to scramble an egg, braid her hair and feed the pets.

In short, she knows how to get things done, and how to get them done right. The operable word there is ``right.’’

Bee was born a person who knows How Things Should Be Done. We were blessed, when we traveled to China for her adoption, to have met the woman who cared for her for the first 12 months of her life. She told us when we met her that Bee ``made me go to the store to get her candy every day, even if it was raining.’’

So, not only does she know How Things Should Be Done, she also knows how to work a less-thanideal situation to her advantage. She says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up, but we call her, lovingly, Our Little CEO.

A possibly bright career track is the upside of being able to see the straightest path from A to B. The darker, more anguishing side is a tendency for perfectionism.

There is nothing quite as frustrating as being able to conceive in crystal detail the way something should work, and yet being utterly helpless to make it happen that way.

It would be like watching helplessly as your tonedeaf mother auditioned for ``American Idol’’ in a tube top and parachute pants. Maddening. Utterly, unspeakably maddening.

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This Wonderful Life
  • This Wonderful Life: I can say No, but I prefer Yes If popular culture is any indication, it seems women suffer from an epidemic inability to refuse additional responsibilities. Magazines, self-help books and therapists nationwide offer heaps of advice on how to assert oneself, draw boundaries and generally say No when asked to sign on for those things for which we have little time and less interest.

    November 25, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I wish someone had told me Disclaimer: Because my son more or less demanded that I stop using him and his life as material for my column back when he was 12 or 13, I want to make it perfectly clear to all my readers (and any legal professionals who are now retained or may be retained at some future time by aforementioned son) that this column is not about him. It’s about me. The fact that he happened to turn 21 on Saturday is mere coincidence. So help me God.

    November 19, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches Every morning, Bee and I stand at the end of the driveway waiting for her bus and we look up into the branches of the elm tree that arches over the drive.

    November 5, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: To Posey on her fourth So here we are, on the other side of 3-years-old, and it seems we both survived it intact. It wasn’t easy, but perhaps it made us both stronger.

    October 30, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name... A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

    October 8, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good? If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

    October 2, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I sssssseeeeeee you there The first thing you should know is that I used to suffer from a snake phobia. The operative word there is phobia. It wasn’t just a matter of disliking snakes. It wasn’t a fear of being bitten. It wasn’t a simple reluctance to touch their impossibly dry, nimble bodies.

    September 24, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

    September 17, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls? There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.

    September 10, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A harvest that’s good for the soul Signs of harvest are all around. The afternoon sun glows amber over the fields and the farm stands are filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruit. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can have such an immediate connection to the food we eat.

    September 3, 2009