It All Started With Some Sage Advice From Talking Animals

Sep 15, 2011 by

When we take the time to look back in life, we discover the “when.”

That “when” is when you knew, when you decided, when you made up your mind. When the journey started. It’s not the time you say “yes,” or “no.” That comes later. This is the time when you just know the future path. Lot’s of “whens” in that paragraph.

Anyway, clear as mud? Try this.

It’s that point when you decide that at some point, you are going to marry that person; that you will take that job; that you are going to buy that house; that you are going to start a family.

Or, in my case, that you are – eventually – going to write that book. That book, for me, being The Little Black Dress And The SONS Of Thunder ~ Recipes On Life And Food.

Time for  a quick commercial, because I know at this point you just snapped your fingers and went, “I’ve got to order that book.” I can help – please visit our bookstore. Credit cards are welcome.

Back from commercial.

Years ago I wrote a weekly column for the newspaper where I worked. This was not the first column I wrote, but it was the one that after I hit print, I knew a  book would come.

Naturally, it’s the very first chapter in The Dress  book.

And so, here’s my “when” moment:

So I walked into my house recently and was greeted by The Little Black Dress, who informed me that Rollie Ollie had found Tinky Winky – at least that’s what I think The Dress said. She then went on to explain in great detail how Mr. Tom Ham Hat, or some such individual, had found his magic gold dust and helped Lady escape evil Diesel with the aid of Thomas the Choo-Choo, and much to her relief, everything was now all right on the Island of Sodor.

Again, I think that’s what The Dress said. Of course, I also thought I might be in the wrong house.

But no, because while The Dress then launched into this rather long dissertation about some big bear in a blue house talking to his friend the moon, No. 1 SON – the first SON of Thunder and nearly three – came running around the corner.

He was jumping up and down and going “uh-huh, uh-huh” and pulling me along by the hand to come and “look.” Of course, Eldest SON’s “look” comes out as “wooooooky.”

Now The Dress is a very intelligent woman. She even has a Master’s degree. After checking to make sure that A) this was indeed my house and B) this was indeed my wife, my rapier intellect realized she was suffering a common malady known as Munchkin Programming Shock. In English, this of course means she had overloaded on children’s videos and TV shows in an effort to occupy Eldest SON while at the same time trying to feed newborn SON No. 2, do the laundry, wash the dishes, clean the house, fix dinner and, most importantly, maintain some semblance of sanity.

Of course, I too have suffered from Munchkin Programming Shock and actually get a little antsy when Tigger almost doesn’t find Eeyore’s tail. I’ve followed this and similarly important issues with Eldest early in the morning. For some reason, Eldest SON almost always wakes up at 6:30 a.m. with a loud cry – “EAT!”

So to give The Dress an extra two seconds of sleep, I usually get up and take Eldest down to see what’s new in the Big Blue House.  Sometimes I don’t get to find out because, if things aren’t moving quickly enough, Eldest’s demanding cries of “Poooo, Poooo” mean we have to check out what’s happening at Pooh Corner.

I cherish these times with Eldest. It’s just he and I and a bunch of flying dragons or bears or talking chipmunks or trains, his favorite. It’s during these times we learn the basic rules of life: Wait your turn, be polite, don’t run with scissors or other sharp objects, share, laugh, tell the truth, cherish your friends, don’t talk to strangers, safety first, don’t yell, and if you do happen to have an accident in your pants, dont’ be embarrassed, but go tell an adult.

I could go on, but I think you get the point. And I guess it’s at times watching these shows with Eldest that I wonder at what point do the rules change? I mean, why is it that, as we grow up, we forget the basic common courtesies? Why do we change from a focus of sharing to one of “What’s in it for me?”

In our rush to get ahead or at least keep up with the Joneses, have we missed the whole point and forgotten to follow what we try and teach our kids? Our society is obsessed with get-rich schemes, get-thin schemes, how to love yourself, how to have it all and every other how-to nirvana you can think of.

I wonder what would happen if, instead of rushing forward to be the first with the latest fad, we instead went backward and followed the sage advice from some unique animals that have stood the test of time. Just a thought.

Until next time.

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