To myself,
As I sort through the writing pile of life’s offal,
[1] I’ve discovered a profound truth. From rotting peels, stinky leaves, and other reeking decay, aromatic flowers emerge.  This grants me a cautious new hope for my writing.

From our diapered beginning, to our composted endings, we beings on the earth must coexist with smells, many of them of the reeking variety. Bad scents warn me to change the diaper, excavate the teen cave, stir the combustible compost, or eat out tonight.  It’s rare that scents ever warn of anything that requires serious attention.[2] Most of the offenses are fleeting moments of foul air, akin to the threat by the husband to clean the garage and if I withstand a mite longer, the awful stench abates, the scourge subsides and life can be even more pleasant because of it.

My lifelong goal is to convince my children that many worthwhile things in this life have at one time or another reeked: Math, piano and grammar lessons, braces, baths, sports practices of each and every kind and car insurance.  I dart about sprinkling verbal potpourri on this offensive's and endeavoring to defuse the pungent preconceptions. Many of these stinkers will be truly beneficial—later. I like to think that I manage to minimize the initial stink and disguise the nastiest stench.

Dear diary
Writing stinks. It’s so much harder than I ever envisioned. The husband wants to know, “Why then, do you do it? If it’s so bad and it’s so hard, and you are frustrated all the time. Why?” Pshaw, he will never understand. T.

I explain to the teen-age son that mowing the lawn and raking leaves are muscle builders ergo chick magnets.  And to the daughter, I suggest that braces are precursors to an appealing smile and a confident bite.[3] The youngest son believes that vaccinations are an appetizer to ice-cream and the husband is convinced that he is still married to an attractive twenty-something-or-other.

I'm a minimizer of muck and it’s been my experience that prolonged exposure to noxious smells cause our noses and our lives to adjust. While the offender may never become entirely innocuous, I seek to persuade the child that it’s worth sticking it out to reveal the hidden benefit—the veiled life lesson, or just to see if the disgusting odor lessens later on.

Reality Bite: Subtle manipulation is not always evil.

[1] Trust me it’s awful!

[2] Unless it’s the scent of gas – any variety – then exit the premise immediately!

[3] Quoting directly from the ortho literature—should you ever need to confidently bite anyone.

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