Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's inside?


I always find it funny what other's perceptions of things are compared to what they *really* are.
An incident yesterday made me ponder that in depth.

I was outside on the side of the house, which is generally hidden from the street. I heard some teenage boys ride/skateboard by. To my suprise one of the boys pointed at the house and shouted out "That is a half million dollar house!" ( say what?? :) "Yeah- it has SEVEN bedrooms!"

How on earth he got any of this information, I don't know. I'd never seen any of them before. I don't think the house was ever priced at half million and we certainly didn't pay that for it. It does have 6 bedrooms ( I guess 7 technically, if you count the one I just fixed up in the basement....but that just happened a week ago) Tim uses one for an office, though.

I nearly ran in the house to tell everyone what I just heard. We all got a chuckle. Yes, there are some nice things about out house that I lose sight of since there are also A LOT of not so nice things. Certainly so many things that most people would be less than impressed with. :)

I don't even think it looks all that great from the outside. God knows, I try, but there really isn't anything impressive out there. Half dead potted plants, crumbling stairs I've tried to tile, but a few keep falling off, weeds creeping up through the mulch, bikes, strollers, and other miscellaneous laying about on the lawn. Grass that needs cutting. You know the drill. I guess the size ( which also isn't obviously evident from the front) could give some interest.

Well, it all made me think of how we look at people/things/ etc from the outside and make snap judgements. We don't always see what is inside.........good OR bad, we just form our perceptions from what we see at first glance or what we think we see at first glance.
I don't know, maybe that young man got his information from someone else and so he views our house through those lenses. He misses the *junk* because he is stuck on what he has heard, what he thinks he knows.
I think that can go both ways. We can often miss the shine because we are stuck on what we have heard/observed that is bad. But that never gives the whole picture.

As I have been studying the colonial period and many of the lives of our founding fathers I am struck at how some of these men ( and women) who did the most amazing things in politics or philosophy or any number of things were studies in contradictions. Often many other things fell apart in their lives....overwhelming debt, infidelity, out of control tempers, pettiness, rocky relationships. Some of their children died as hopeless alcoholics, some made bad marriages and lived in poverty, some became president just like them! We tend to think because someone has so much together in one area of their life, that it is necessarily so in all the others. Sometimes that is true, but I think it is rare. Most people have their strengths and weaknesses, and of course, no one is perfect.

So, I hope these lessons I am learning will help me have a more reasoned view of humanity. To give me pause when I want to judge, to reign me in when I want to idolize.

No, my house is not a half million, suburban palace, but it is filled with *my treasures*. Baby giggles, 3 yo explosion sounds, Redwall on cd for the middle boys, teens practicing guitar ( or playing guitar hero :) and even our little, quiet mouse , Naomi, fills it with her gentle presence.
I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Streams of consciousness from a mother of 10 who usually can't collect her thoughts and finds commas a nuisance.