Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I've been reading the Magic Treehouse series of books to the Monkey (and, sometimes, he reads them to me). The books are good little adventure stories in their own right, but they also are exposing him to bits of history. He's "visited" Pompeii, the sinking of the Titanic, the first Olympics, and, most recently, the Revolutionary War.

Tonight, the Magic Treehouse book spoke to me. I actually welled up a little as I tried to read to the Monkey the message that Washington shared with his ragged troops that cold night on the banks of the Delaware...

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

As the Monkey itches the rash that has developed under his cast (half-cast, sorry) and I worry about his still-swollen, immobile fingers...as still more bad news gets delivered at work...as the stress and lack of sleep compound each other into a solid chokehold...I know that I have no right to compare this recent stream of unrelenting inconveniences to such a noble cause. There's perspective in that...and I'm grateful for it.

But that last bit is what got to me: What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly.

...this little war I've been fighting, when it's finally over, will have been an incredibly hard-won battle...and the peace that I hope will follow will be priceless.

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