One day, many years ago, my youngest son came home from school and basically gave me the blast.
"Why didn’t you ever tell me that," he said.
I don’t remember what it was I had neglected to tell him, but I do know that it was something I probably expected him to know without me telling him. That was a mistake I set about rectifying from that point on. I have been a wealth of information and advise ever since. I no longer assume anyone knows what I know, and I’m more than willing to share. Of course, that’s not always appreciated by those of the receiving end.
I’ll soon be collecting my old age pensions and I’m still finding out things I probably should have known years ago. For instance, I always had problems with left and right. As a child I remember one classroom had signs that said Left and Right in the upper corners at the front of the room. Since then my Mom often teased me about how I had to "face north" to know my left from my right, as I have often had to turn my body a certain way before uttering those words. As an adult, I taught a tai chi class, and would tell the students that if I turned the opposite way to what I was telling them, they should do what I do, instead of what I say. I often told them left when I meant right, and vice versa. One smart lady came up to me one night and had me hold my hands out in front of me, palms away. She pointed out that the thumb and index finger on the left hand formed an L. I was close to 50 years old by that time, and like my son, wondered why nobody had ever told me that before.
Recently I had to debone some chicken thighs for a Chatelaine recipe testing session, and had to go online to learn how. That’s another thing my Mother never taught me. Sure, I’ve tried to do that on my own in the past, but always gave up as it seemed more trouble than it was worth. With the internet, we can learn all kinds of handy tricks. Recently I learned how to make the kitchen sink so shiny I was actually afraid to do the dishes for fear of messing it back up. (If you want to try that look here.) And last night I came across information about my street that I didn’t know. Apparently it was named after Sir John Colborne, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1828 to 1836. And, in fact, there were plans to name this village Colborne in 1828 but the application was put in too slowly and two other places got that name first, so they just decided to name the street after him instead. I admit I’m no history buff, but I’ve lived in this village for 37 years, and on this street for 35 years, and I never knew that before.
So, if I should happen to tell you something you already knew, or something you feel you could find out on your own, if you wanted to know, without my help, please understand. I’m not being bossy, or a know it all, and I'm certainly not telling you what to do. I’m simply being helpful and generous with what ever knowledge or wisdom I may have acquired over the years. I don’t want you to wonder why nobody ever told you about something that might have made life easier for you. In some cultures I would be considered an Elder, and respected as such.
So listen up!