Sunday, July 12, 2009

Law and sausage.

“To retain respect for sausages and laws,
one must not watch them in the making."
-- Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898)

This quote runs through my mind every single time Dolly and I go for a walk because I think Bismarck accidentally neglected to mention dog-training. To be honest, it hurt to watch Dad teach Dolly to heel as they walked together in Virginia, and I thought, at the time, that he was too harsh. (Every time she got a smack on the chest for lunging a step ahead of Dad, I winced and thought there just had to be an easier, more gentle way to train a dog.) There’s no denying the results, however…she is the best-behaved dog in the family and a PLEASURE to take to the park!

Apparently, watching dog training and child-rearing are along the lines of von Bismarck’s laws and sausages—NOT for the squeamish or faint of heart. It takes a firm, fair, and consistent hand to train a dog or a child “in the way she should go”…and forgiveness, too, for when mistakes are (inevitably) made. Well, I’m not firm, fair, consistent, OR forgiving so it is all a mystery to this clueless spectator; watching Dad train Dolly and Karen raise kids is all Laws and Sausages.

Karen has the unenviable job AND enviable joy of being two parents at once. (Now that Houston has found an apartment and two good roommates near Blinn College, her job is slightly less daunting, but still a Herculean task!) She has to be breadwinner, mentor, chore overseer, disciplinarian, bedtime story reader, taxi driver, spiritual leader, nutritionist/physical trainer, activities coordinator, cheerleader, secretary, cuddler, cook, financier, bookkeeper, medic, and so many other roles I can’t even remember at the moment—and she has to do them all simultaneously, without nights or weekends off…and—here’s the kicker--she only gets ONE shot. They will be grown and gone, like Houston and Bethany, before she knows it. (Not a day goes by that I don’t think of the mistakes I made raising Bethany…the things I could have done better, the things I forgot, the things I said, the things I neglected to say…and how I wish parents could have a second chance!)

Karen, you are doing a great job! Keep up the good work and don’t take your hand from the plow…you can sleep when you’re old. You are doing the Lord’s work here, and though motherhood is often a thankless task, you will reap the rewards someday as you watch your children become good people who do kind things and raise your grandchildren with compassion and enthusiasm! Here are two quotes to encourage you:

“There was never a woman like her. She was as gentle as a dove and as brave as a lioness. The memory of my mother and her teachings were, after all, the only capital I had to start life with, and on that capital I have made my way.”
--Andrew Jackson

“Nothing can compare in beauty, and wonder, and admirableness, and divinity itself, to the silent work in obscure dwellings of faithful women bringing their children to honor and virtue and piety.”
--Henry Ward Beecher

"Silent work in obscure dwellings of faithful women" sounds about right, and it's happening in obscure dwellings all over this country. We all need to do more to help out the single moms we know (me, me ESPECIALLY...because I remember what it was like and how grateful and appreciative I was for assistance when I was doing it all alone). God bless single mothers!


Hey, here’s a von Bismarck quote for Kirsten, from an 1888 speech: “We Germans fear God, but nothing else in the world.” (Like that one, Frau Buchwurm?)


P.S. Speaking of laws, sausages, dog training, child-rearing, and other things you do NOT want to see, a bird flew into the side of the school about an hour ago. I tore into the hallway to see what in the world had crashed or fallen, and it looked like someone had thrown something against one of the large glass windows. Although it looked like vandalism at first, it’s a Sunday…in the middle of the day…and that glass panel is inside a padlocked courtyard. Then I saw a stunned dove, blinking in the grass. (NOOO! Why do they do that?)

One positive note: the dove has since moved itself into the shade to recover. There are some loose feathers on and around him, but it looks like the only thing he left on the glass was poo and feathers…no blood that I can see. (His crash actually knocked the poo out of him…and nearly scared the poo out of me! His collision with the glass was so forceful and so violent, it’s hard to believe that he’s still alive at all...)

He's been eating FLAX-sicles!

Still alive...just trying to collect himself!

One thing that is NOT alive and NOT at all what you ever want to see is the dead cockroach on the table in the hallway, about ten feet from the Bird Explosion on Glass. He is a big ‘un, about four inches from stem to stern.

(Cockroaches are as revolting as sausage-making or policiticans!)


Steelerfan06 said...

Now there's a blog entry that really ran the gamut of topics. Started out with sausage and laws, moved to Karen and single mothers, then to Germans and God, then drifted a bit to dove poo and dead cockroaches.

May I suggest a motto for your blog? "You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be enlightened, and you'll be disgusted all in one day. Mojito, anyone?"

mad4books said...

HA! I'll *gladly* toast that dove's health with a frosty mojito!

LOVE you, Bro!

Steelerfan06 said...

The way that dove was flying, he might've beaten you to that mojito.

Love you back!

Bluebonnetgirl said...

That's HIGH praise, coming from Kristy, for her father's dog training tactics (hrrmph, the same training tactics he perfected in training her) and for her sister's parenting skills. Maybe Kristy needs to reassess her spiritual gift--instead of shopping, perhaps it is encouragement.

I'm sure it is music to Tom's and Karen's ears to hear Kristy say such kind things.

I'm proud of all of you!

Anonymous said...

Wow--thank you, Kristy, for the encouragement. I so needed that. I feel my hands slipping from the plow, exhausted, calloused and burnt. I used to be so fired up in my beliefs in how children should be raised, and "fired up" fizzled into "burned out" a long time ago. I try to keep going in the same direction, relying on the memories of how it used to feel, but when the heart isn't in it, it loses its effect. I still love my children with a grizzly-like ferocity, but I need to get a firm grip on the plow again.

Mom, I agree wholeheartedly. There's no doubt in my mind about Kristy having a divine gift of encouragement. I've been telling her that for years. Whenever I feel myself "going under," I go to her in tears of worry and depression, and by the end of the conversation with her, I'm usually in tears of laughter, with a fresh plan of attack on the circumstances which threatened to do me in. I'm so blessed to have her.