Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Remember that great book by Robert Fulghum, "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten?" If you have never read it, do. It is on my top 20 list, which I will talk more about in later posts. But I digress.

The reason I brought it up is because I could write a book like that called "All I Really Need to Know I Learned From Jeny." Jeny is my daughter who lives in Atlanta with Gil and Davis and Elliot and Junie and Martin. Davis and Elliot are her girls. Junie and Martin are her dogs. Gil is her husband.

Jeny often says things with great conviction.  She analyzes situations; declares her stand on things firmly and has strong logic for her position.  For instance, she said she was never going to have dogs because they shed on the furniture; they aggravated, perhaps even caused allergies; they were dirty and I don't know what all else.

This year she changed her mind.  The family rescued Junie.  They liked her. Jeny gushed, like all new parents do. 

She placed pictures of Junie all over her facebook.  She sent pictures of Junie to the grandparents--almost as many as of Davis and Elliot.  Junie had a birthday party with all the neighborhood doggies as guests.  No, really.  There are pictures.

Junie needed a little friend and they have now rescued Martin.  He is as cute as Junie is.  He looks at least as much like a bunny as he does a dog.

I believe that they will live happily ever after.

The lesson I learned from Jeny here is that, truth be told, Ralph Waldo Emerson was right when he said  "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."  I love it when something I taught tenth graders in GREAT ESSAYS springs to life like that.

Jeny, you are so busted!


  1. I admit that being busted on this issue is necessary - was inevitable in fact and you have clearly taken advantage...(I am sure if you and Brother haven't discussed this you have each secretly thought it.) The lesson here is that there is room for growth, there is always room for growth, mother! When we first got Junie a place in me was opened that I never realized existed. A true love for animals, a heart for a species that I really never even noticed before, maybe even consciously ignored...conviction is good but open mindedness is better!

  2. Dear Judy,
    Well said! Jeny's change on the dog thing was definitely one of THE most remarkable transformations ever.

  3. Ha! It's hard to stay consistent. You know ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW... I taught a grad class a long time ago - when that poem/book became popular. I asked that everyone in the class (about 30 grad students) bring in a favorite book or passage or letter. When we shared we had to break up into two groups because there were so many of us. Out of all the text in the world, out of all of the books, letters, cards, etc. Two people brought in Fulghum's piece and were reading it at the same time! What are the odds? The other piece brought in by two people - The 23rd Psalm.

    I am psyched that you and Tom are publishing your ideas. Thanks for telling me!



Because of many spam comments, we have had to add comment moderation.I agree with Pooh, "Oh bother!" Please be patient.