This I Believe

Jessie - New York, New York
Entered on November 15, 2006

This I Believe

I believe that what you don’t learn as a child, you learn as a parent:

How to be vested in your home, community, and the world at large;

How to share;

How to sing unembarrassedly, even if you’re tone-deaf;

When to hold your tongue;


The importance of establishing and maintaining trust;

The calming effect of Goldfish crackers;

Social politics are inherent—they manifest as early as the sandbox;


The genius of Sesame Street;

The therapeutic effect of blowing bubbles—it’s all about breathing;

Desperately quick thinking;

All the verses to “Hush Little Baby;”

How to take responsibility for your role in someone’s life;

To know what it’s like to willingly die for someone;

You don’t always get your own way;

Your own parents (amazingly enough) were just people too;

Unconditional, everlasting, bittersweetest love;

Letting go;

The recipe for play dough;

You will mess up;

You will get hurt;

Some battles are not worth fighting;

It’s okay to let the other person win sometimes;

The art of distraction;

The quiet beauty of 3am;

How to sleep all night in a rocking chair;

Time races—you don’t get any of it back;

The naturally-occurring communion among parents;

Your professional life should be something you enjoy—you’ll spend a lot of time and miss a lot of moments doing it;

Actions and example speak much louder than words;

There is no real reason shoes—or socks, or gloves—have to match;

The need for self-acceptance—if you don’t, your kids will have a hard time doing so;

Bert and Ernie;

Some mistakes have to be allowed to be made for growth to occur;

To appreciate hand-me-downs;

Timeouts are as much for grown-ups as they are for kids;

Some children’s books are justifiable classics—many others are just plain dumb;


The stolen joy of waking up before anyone else in the house has stirred;

To make family time count;

The truth behind lightning;

All people, even parents, even children, are imperfect;

Kids’ clothes, etc. are overpriced—manufacturers know exactly how to prey on the insecurities of parents who believe their children’s wardrobes and accoutrements are direct indicators of how good (or bad) a parent they are;

Time management;

The best schools money can buy don’t necessarily yield the best education;

Housework slips;

Carry a tissue with you at all times;

It (and that can refer to anything) will break;

To be wary of silence;

The necessity of making time for yourself and your adult relationships;

Your own expressions and mannerisms as they are mirrored back at you;

How to prioritize;

That oft-uttered phrase, ‘you’ll understand when you’re a parent’; similarly, ‘this hurts me more than it hurts you’;

How to abandon aspirations of perfection;

The meaning of life.

This I believe.