I wrote this as a homily for a wedding ceremony I performed when I was first starting out. When the bride and groom first met they found out they both had this favorite passage from Robert Fulgham in common. It was great because a year later they actually had a little girl! That wasn't the only time that happened. A few years later a couple chose this as a way to incorporate their children into their ceremony. Turns out the bride was pregnant at the time and didn't know it!
Everything I Needed To Know I learned in Kindergarten
Today, Bride and Groom are not just getting married. They are becoming a family. There are also many families here today. We want to honor that and talk about how much kids know and how they can possibly help their parents. The poem is by Robert Fulgham's Everything I Needed to Know I learned in Kindergarten.
Robert Fulgham points out:
Most of what I really need
To know about how to live
And what to do and how to be
I learned in kindergarten.
Wisdom was not at the top
Of the graduate school mountain,
But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.
These are the things I learned:
(And, May I add, This is how they apply to marriage)
That goes without saying, You are married now. The remote, your
Rickerpop, Bandwidth, paychecks and diaper duty
Don’t forget, feelings, hopes, dreams, desires and many hugs and kisses.
Yes, even when you are not perfect, as none of us are, remember there are two sides to every story and both sides are real and indeed valid! It is not an argument you are trying to win. It is an understanding you are trying to find and with that comes a deeper and truer love. You are no longer children. This is an adult relationship to last a lifetime.
Don't hit people.
Well, that goes without saying. It's not something you can take back, you have children - it's a felony.
Put things back where you found them.
You know, toothpaste tops, car keys, Wouldn’t hurt to fill up the gas tank if you borrow the car. Always put the kid's car seats back where you found them!
Clean up your own mess.
This is not only referring to socks or dishes. If you did something to make the other person upset, make amends. It’s easier to clean it up right away than to allow it to sit and fester. Better a sponge, a paper towel, or a Clorox wipe, even a mop or vacuum cleaner. It beats an exterminator, a drywaller or a fire truck if you let the mess fester.
Don't take things that aren't yours.
I could joke and refer to the last beer or cookie but in reality:
Remember that you are two becoming one today in marriage but that you will always be two distinct individuals that come together to make yourselves better by your union and what makes that great is the two of you as individuals. Always allow the other to be themselves and learn from them, allow them to make you better because of who they are. By allowing each other to grow as individuals you will bring bigger and better into your marital mix.
Say you're sorry when you hurt somebody.
This would also go back to the cleaning up your mess part.
Wash your hands before you eat.
Take a shower, shave, brush your teeth for- well, you know what I mean... ;-)
With that, let it go. There are things you will continue to learn about each other. The good and the interesting. If it is less then good, come to terms with it and then let it go. Flush it away and move on. It also has to do with forgiving and forgetting. Just let it go.
Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
Steven, remember this is especially true during pregnancy. And Brude, remember this on Christmas Eve when Groom is trying to put the doll house of a million pieces together.
Live a balanced life -
That includes the checkbook
Learn some and think some
And draw and paint and sing and dance
Start today, on your wedding day and then remember to do it every day. Dance around the kitchen or the bathroom. Make your life a dance to enjoy.
And play and work every day some.
And, may your work, be play
Take a nap every afternoon.
And not only on your honeymoon, but remember to love each other every day as you love each other on your honeymoon.
When you go out into the world,
Watch out for traffic,
And remember that traffic can do all sorts of things. Make sure you are always watching out for each other, keep each other safe. Be each other’s best friend and know when to push each other to be better and know when to let go. And know when to pull each other out of harms way!! This is the most intimate of relationships, you will deal with so many things. Don’t sweat the small stuff, but don’t ignore it either.
Hold hands and stick together.
And may you be a very old couple holding hands walking down the street that make people stop and think about and talk about how cute you are!
Be aware of wonder.
Be aware of the wonder that each of you are. The wonder of your marriage. The wonder of your family if you are blessed with children and the wonder of how much more amazing life is because you are married. It is a sacred union that you are not entering into lightly.
You did indeed learn all these things in kindergarten. But today, you begin a whole new part of your adult life where you are called on to apply all that you have learned.