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My Unremarkable Life

April 27, 2017

…and the heat increases so slowly that eventually the frog dies because he didn’t jump out.

You know that’s a myth, right?


The frog in the boiling water. They’ve actually done the research. The frog jumps out as soon as the water gets too warm.

Okay, but that’s not my point.

The point, of course, is that as things change around us, we simply decide that the added craziness is the new normal. This tendency to accept each new piece of crazy can be dangerous. I recently helped a friend move out from a domestic abuse situation. She hadn’t really noticed how crazy it got. Her boyfriend hacked her phone and later hid it. He had his family hack her social media accounts. They lived with his family in a house with a dozen cars, but she wasn’t allowed to drive any. She was too far from anywhere to walk. She was slowly being cut off from everyone except him.

It wasn’t until she met with a recruiter who showed her all the options she had in terms of education and career, that my friend realized that she’d let herself get sucked into a terrible situation. She’s on her way to enrolling in college and has moved out.

But, this “boiling frog myth” metaphor applies to less serious situations as well. I was listening to a radio show last night. The caller described adopting two kids. The host was pretty surprised. Then, the caller shared that he and his wife eventually adopted six kids. The radio host about came out of his chair.

Wow! That’s amazing. Six kids? And you already had two birth kids? Well, I’m impressed. Surprised, but really impressed. Good for you.

Talk of adoption always affects me deeply. I was adopted by my stepfather when I was 14. My older brother was adopted at the same time. My sister adopted three kids from foster care. My younger brother and his wife adopted 4 kids.

I was impressed with the caller, but not shocked.

My wife and I had three birth kids and then decided to adopt. We eventually adopted 10 from all over the world. Was that remarkable? I suppose. It certainly would be to the radio host. But, maybe I’m the frog in the water. To me, it’s just who we are.

It’s dangerous when dealing with society to decide “I don’t see color.” Although my kids are from various ethnic backgrounds, we haven’t taught them to be colorblind. The world isn’t colorblind. But, inside my house? Yeah, we’re all colorblind. It’s not something we set out to do. But, when two of my boys are fighting, I don’t think “It’s a black kid and an Asian kid,” or “It’s a white kid and a black kid.” I don’t see a multi-cultural “united nations family.” I simply see two of my kids who need to be separated.

Elizabeth Taylor was one of the most famous actresses of the 20th century. However, she was also famous for her love life. She had eight marriages to seven husbands. Scandalous. And yet, while my lovely wife has put up with me for nearly 30 years, I have family members who have been married to as many men as Liz. (All one at a time. I’m in Utah, but not THAT part of Utah.) It wasn’t scandalous. It wasn’t odd. It was life. It was just the way things were.

My brothers and sister and I laugh about the game “two truths and a lie.” If we try to play that with a group unfamiliar with our family, we pretty much win every time. And yet, none of us think our lives are that different. I mean how many people haven’t had a parent pull them aside and say, “Oh, by the way, let me know if you date any girls from Portland. You have a sister down there that you didn’t know about.” Or, who hasn’t been riding in a car with a new coworker and the coversation end up at, “I think we’re first cousins. You mom is my birth dad’s sister”?

But, honestly, it’s not remarkable. Not to the frog in the pot. It is just the life we live. The crazy, amazing, incredible, wonderful, UNremarkable life.

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren. 

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(c) 2017 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved 

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