‘What did you learn today?” I asked and was met with a look of surprise.
“A lot,” our daughter responded after a moment’s thought, then turned the question around on me before I could invite her to elaborate.
“What did you learn lately?” she asked.
Funny, I can’t recall the last time someone asked me that question. Probably not as long ago as I imagine, but at first thought it brings to mind memories from my school age years, afternoons and evenings being asked by my parents that very same thing. I hated it mostly.
For some odd reason it didn’t bother me this time, only made me think. What have I learned lately? A lot.
I’ve learned that not everyone smiles back.
I’ve learned that cold air in the chimney will cause smoke to come back into the room when you build a fire. I’ve learned that our smoke detectors work.
I’ve learned not to ask someone how they are doing unless I have the time for them to tell me. I’ve learned that it’s better to withhold my opinion if my releasing it won’t make any difference in the long run. I’ve learned that everyone is a hypocrite and the ones who deny it are the biggest ones.
I’ve learned that my dog can read my mind when he jumps up in my lap and lies there quietly because he sensed I needed something to hold. I’ve learned that I get 30,400,000 page results when I Google “Can Dogs Read Minds?”
I’ve learned one of the easiest ways to get my children out of their rooms is to make cookies.
I’ve learned that everybody’s not going to like me and it’s okay.
I’ve learned that I really like it when people get to the point quickly. I’ve learned that when someone is crying and they tell you everything is okay, they can be telling you the truth. I’ve learned that some people say they’re kidding when they’re not.
I’ve learned that I must have an invisible sign on the front of my car that says, “Please Pull Out In Front Of Me And Drive Very Slowly.” I’ve learned that it’s just a waste of my time and energy to complain about how other people drive.
I’ve learned that day-old turnip greens in the garbage can stink.
I’ve learned that having a guilty pleasure is okay as long as it’s not hurting anyone else, like watching soap operas at 5 a.m. I’ve learned that I can’t pass up buying six pairs of gloves on sale for $1.80 and that most likely I will be the only one in my house to ever wear them.
I’ve learned that no matter how many times I dig through the drawer in my bathroom I will always magically find a safety pin. I’ve learned that procrastination is one of my worst enemies.
I’ve learned that I think it’s rude when people don’t at least acknowledge with a wave or mouthed thank-you when I let them out in traffic. I’ve learned that the change I’ve been collecting comes to $23.46. I’ve learned that I can tolerate brussel sprouts, but I’m still going to say I don’t like them.
I’ve learned that my favorite time of the day is anytime everyone in my family is in the exact same room at the exact same time. I’ve learned that just when I thought football season was coming to an end, there are still weeks of it left. I’ve learned that people should be nicer.
“What did you learn lately?” she asked me.
“A lot,” I told her. I’ve learned a lot.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.