Tag Archives: Robert Frost

Madame Leota’s Crystal Ball Says. . .

We are all time travelers: moving into the future second by second.

Which does us absolutely no good at all as far as planning for the future goes because we can’t see the future until it’s the present and then it’s too late to change it into anything but the past.

Ugh. Time travel makes my head hurt.

Anyway, I was reminded about this issue recently when I was discussing with She Who Must Be Sleeping Because It’s Dark After All a course of action regarding our oldest dude.

The actual specifics of the discussion aren’t all that important (well, they’re important to us and certainly important to him. However, for the sake of this bit here, it’s more the results rather than the cause.), but I found myself thinking of Robert Frost.

One of my favorite poets, Robert Frost wrote about “The Road NotRobert Frost, one of America's best poets, extolled the virtue of taking the road less travelled. Taken.” In exactingly precise words of immeasurable beauty, Frost talked about how we often face choices in our lives and we can think of them as forks in the road.

We take one fork, make one choice, and that forever shapes all that is to come. Take the other fork, make the other choice, and that also forever shapes all that is to come.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

So we sat discussing our course of action and because the substance of the discussion, the nature of the choice, was so important to Sarcasmo’s future, I’ve never wished more fervently to be able to see the future.

“Are we making the right choice? Will this work out in the long run? Will this be good for him or hurt him?”

This is something we parents have to think about every single day in almost every single decision. It’s not often such a stark choice, but it is there.

Do I make him eat those zucchini slices or not? If no, am I teaching him that he will get his way when he whines? If yes, will I be teaching him that bigger people can make smaller people do things?

The more I think about it, the more debilitating it becomes until I can enter into a state of analysis paralysis. For those of you not up on your rhyming aphorisms, analysis paralysis means you start thinking about something so much that you never make an actual decision. Which is, in effect, a decision. If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

There’s an old saying in project management: There comes a time in the life of every project when you simply have to shoot the engineers and run with it.

Now, that’s not actually encouraging people to kill engineers. The issue is that engineers are never finished. They always see one more thing that can be improved upon. One more thing that needs just a little adjustment.

I like to think it’s something similar in parenting. We don’t know what we’re doing.

We don’t know how our actions today will affect the life of our child tomorrow.

All we can do is make what we think is the right decision and then work for the best outcome. Which is, in and of itself, a significantly frightening thought.

So, now that I’ve spent two days scaring the pants off you, I’ve only got one thing to say. . .

You’re not wearing any pants! Neener Neener Neener!

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Remember That Long Story? Yeah, It Finally Ends Here

by Richard

So, while I was in the air going from Las Vegas to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport, the dudes at American Airlines, in their infinite wisdom and with perfect knowledge of their schedules and the weather conditions at both my destinations for that day, cancelled my flight to Charlotte.

However, being the forward-thinking individuals they are, the fine folks at American Airlines (can you tell I’m trying to suck up just a bit to try and get that elusive first-class upgrade the next time I fly? Is it that obvious, dudes? Is it?) went ahead and rebooked me to make sure I would get home.

They decided that the best way for me to get home would be to fly from Dallas to LaGuardia airport in New York City and, thence, from there to Charlotte. I’d leave LaGuardia at 7:45 pm and arrive in Charlotte around 10 pm, only six hours later than my original arrival. And all that sounded great.

There was, however, one tiny flaw in their plan. That snowstorm that had dumped a large amount of snow on Charlotte, basically closing the airport, was now moving up the east coast and was scheduled to hit New York City just about the time I was going to land there. Which meant there was a very real possibility I could find myself stretched out in a spacious, waiting-area chair for the night in LaGuardia with Charlotte open as the snowstorm closed in around New York City, thus stranding me there even longer.

As I said, a slight hitch.

The good news is that I have family in Dallas. As the poet Robert Frost once said, “Home is the place where, when you go there, they have to take you in.” With that in mind, I called my dad and his wife and told them to set an extra plate for dinner. My dad actually came to the airport, picked me up, brought me to his home, fed me and then threw me a blanket and pointed to the couch. It was heaven. Especially when you consider that I could have been trying to get comfortable in a LaGuardia airport chair while snow stacked up outside.

The next day, I was back to the airport and a flight to Charlotte, where I was scheduled to arrive about 30 minutes after my lovely wife, known to me as She Who Must Be Going, was to leave on a trip to Key West to be meet up with some college chums and watch female impersonator shows. No accounting for taste.

Fortunately, her flight also was delayed, so we got to spend a glorious 10 minutes in the airport bathroom lobby, chatting amiably and demurely holding hands.

So, despite a 24-hour delay, things turned out to be pretty all right. Although, if Mother Nature hadn’t decided to personally mess with my travel plans, I’d have had an entire day with my lovely bride. So I’ve still got a pretty harsh opinion of the ol’ Mother Nature. Just don’t tell her I said that. I’m not that stupid, after all.

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The Bunny System

by Richard

I’ll be back Monday with the last bit on moral choices, but, over the weekend, I thought I’d offer something a little less heavy.

Well, it’s less heavy unless you count squirrel maiming as heavy instead of hilarious, which it is.

The Bunny System is a fantastic webcomic I just discovered by a young dudette named Audrey Saffa. It’s about, well, bunnies and their natural enemies, the squirrels. All right, so they’re not natural enemies in our world, but it makes for some funny comics.

The pictures are drawn in an über-cute style of fluffy bunnies everywhere, but the text and action are pure cynicism and over-the-top violence. It’s some dissonant stuff that really works.

I’ve talked before about my love of Robert Frost’s “Fire and Ice” poem, but I don’t think I ever truly appreciated it until this.

Yeah. Like that.

Go ahead and stop on by. I think you might like it. Just remember this is for the big dudes in the house.

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