It’s like how black and wet make purple. You don’t have to know why it happens. It’s a fact. It doesn’t matter if you can explain it, or if you don’t believe it; it’s just one of those things that “is.”
I spent a couple of years working on my memoir, To Sing Frogs, and the work progressed under several different titles. I was about two thirds of the way through the book when I found myself writing the story of planning a reunion for my daughter, Sarah, and some of the other characters in the book. As I was speaking with the other person in the story, a phrase from another language came up which translated as “to sing frogs.” Neither of us thought that made any sense and I remember saying: “Maybe there’s something lost in translation. Maybe I just don’t get it. Maybe it doesn’t make sense. I’m becoming more and more convinced that some things aren’t supposed to.” To Sing Frogs has a lot of situations in it that, well, they just “were.” I couldn’t explain them with my calculator. They didn’t make sense. At least they didn’t to me. However, my wife, Amy, is a person of stalwart faith. She always thought there was an answer. “God works in mysterious ways.”
That answer doesn’t always work for me. In fact, it doesn’t often work for me. Still, I didn’t need to make sense of the things that happened in my daughter’s life to find beauty and appreciation for those incredible occurrences that leave me in awe. That those things happened is more important to me than how they happened. It took me a long time to learn to straighten out those priorities. My wife thinks I have a little more straightening to do. That’s the beauty of a good marriage, though. A partner who is ahead doesn’t mind waiting for the other to catch up. I’m glad that my wife allows me to progress at my own pace and that she doesn’t try to push me. Sometimes she just has to smile as I scratch my head, knowing that eventually, I’ll need to move just a little bit more.
I wish our world was just a little bit more like my wife. I’m glad that there are those who are willing to fight for a cause. I am glad that they believe enough to do something, even if I don’t always agree with the cause. Still, I often wish that people were a little more patient and a lot less angry. When you’re right, people, at least reasonable people, tend to come to your position without coercion. And that happens a lot quicker than if you’re putting the fire to their feet.
My wife doesn’t try to prove that she’s right. She lets her position be known, and then she waits. Then there are those like me, who would try to say she’s wrong, while we flounder and scratch our heads. When that happens, Amy simply smiles and waits for us to convince ourselves of our errors.
My son, Denney, is a lot like me. My daughter, Celeste, takes things on faith like Amy does. They take after us, even though they are both adopted and they are not biological siblings. For another few weeks before Celeste’s birthday, our youngest two children are both ten. When they were both trying to one-up each other a few days ago, I was confident that Denney would come out on top. He’s a pretty sharp kid and when his sisters go up against him in a challenge of intellect, they usually don’t win. As Celeste and Denney both tried to come up with more correct answers than the other on which colors could be mixed to get other colors, Celeste baffled us all with her statement: “Black and wet make purple.” Denney told her that she didn’t know what she was talking about. Celeste countered. “Yes they do. I had a paper with black magic marker on it. When it got wet, it turned purple.” Denney is still trying to figure out how it works. Celeste just knows that it does. Some things don’t make sense. Maybe they don’t need to.