Eventually . . .

Let me tell you a story. With any luck there will be a point.

When my daughter was in high school, I helped her with essay writing. Proofreading — and the like — was my task. We spent a lot of time talking about how to make written communication more concise and clear. Routinely — and to her chagrin — I would eviscerate her prose, shortening sentences, organizing paragraphs, removing unnecessary words. Not everything needs to be explained — people can think for themselves, if we give ‘em half a chance. 

My frequent advice was, “You have to leave something to the reader.” I delivered this message for longer than I care to remember.

Fast forward. 

Veronica was at a friend’s house; they were each writing an English essay. The friend’s mom — a woman with a reputation for verbosity — offered to help her daughter. They went upstairs to work. 

Sometime later, Veronica heard her friend, at the top of her lungs: “You have to leave something to the reader!!!”

I laughed when Veronica told me. 

But the deeper meaning was clear: as parents (and as teachers) we preach the same messages over-and-over-and-over. We’re broken records, advocating for what needs to be done . . . overcoming (daily) opposition can be exhausting. It’s why people retire — or make their kids move out.

But sometimes . . . once in a while . . . our message lands.

Carry on . . .