a svithe for expectant fathers


En-her-gy Girl wrote me earlier this week to share with me a fantastic idea she has for getting writing done. It had been on her blog but I had missed it. Full disclosure: I tend to drift away from blogs that are either private or don't allow comments, and I don't use a reader, so . . . .

Anyway, while I was there, I read her post Payback time!.

(I'll pause for a moment while you go read it.)

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(All done? Okay, back to my post.)

True, don't you think? And it has application way beyond our families--I think this is true of most things in life. Not to suggest horrible tragedies don't show up unexpectedly like a drunk drive through your bedroom at 2am (as once happened to some friends of mine) because they most certainly do. Welcome to Earth. We can't control everything.

HOWEVER. Our expectations do define our reality to an enormous extent. We catalogue what happens according to what we expected to happen and so we see what we want to see. And, I believe in a mystical sort of way, the universe likes to give us what we want to see.

Or to be less nondenominational, God loves us and will give us what we want whether we should want it or not. I think that's pretty true as well.

So want what you want. If you know what I mean.

last week's svithe


  1. I know what you mean. Good post.

    Um. You need to fix the hyperlink, though. The first one works ("fantastic idea"), so I was able to use it to find the Payback post, but the link to the actual post you're referring to is busted (somehow you accidentally put an exclamation point on the end of it, it seems).

  2. Hey wait a minute. You don't use a reader?

    Huh. That--that TOTALLY throws off the way I've interpreted my analytics, perhaps. Unless you're--somehow invisible?

    I'm going to have to do some refiguring ....

  3. .

    [Edit: fixed hyperlink]

    And yes, I am often invisible. And stat machines don't seem to work perfectly.

  4. You not only get what you expect (which was indeed a great comment, kudos to her) but also what you put in, and not just in terms of washing and changing nappies, etc.

    Let me give you an example. I know a mother who from time to time allows her kids to do things they've been expressly forbidden to do by their father (eg telling them to wait until their dad goes to bed and then use the internet to finish schoolwork that should have been done hours before).

    Basically she is deciding that he is wrong about something and that she knows better, and then (and this is the important part) siding with the children against him and thereby becoming the 'nice' parent, at his expense. She's done this all their lives.

    Now that the kids are teenagers she complains loud and long about how easily the kids will lie to her and her husband, break promises and go behind their back. She never seems to grasp that they are actually doing exactly what she did. They are deciding that they know better than her what they should be able to do and then lying (like she did/does to her husband) in order to do it.

    There's no respect for her parenting decisions or authority, any more than she showed respect for her husband's parenting decisions or authority (in front of the children that is; obviously she's allowed to debate decisions behind the scenes, but there should be a consolidated front with the kids). I'm doubly annoyed by this because her husband doesn't countermand her in the same way, even if he disagrees with her decisions.

    It just pisses me off that she is always talking about how terrible it is to have teenagers, when a lot of the problems she has with them are self-created.

  5. .

    I think you're absolutely right. Blind optimism is just foolishness. Studied optimism however, is a pretty great way to live.

  6. Enhergy's post also really made me stop and think. I remember as an 11-year old telling my mother that I was worried about what a monster I might become as a teenager. Our culture has such poor expectations of teenagers that I was afraid of becoming one myself.

    I'm resolved to look for the best and have positive expectations for my family - it really is crucial.

  7. .

    I remember my sister tearily saying the same thing.