This is for my beautiful daughter, Coray, on the occasion of her graduation.
In the classic musical "My Fair Lady," Eliza Doolittle loses patience with her mentor and
occasional tormentor, Henry Higgins. In lines gustily sung by drama geeks everywhere, Eliza
plots a wistful revenge. "Just you wait 'enry 'iggins. Just you wait. You'll be sorry but the tears
will be too late. And while your 'ouse is burning down, I'll get dressed and go to town. Just you
wait 'enry 'Higgins just you wait."
We smile and sing along because we have watched Higgins patronize, belittle, and berate the
loveable Eliza. While her threat is hyperbole, we enjoy the sentiment so much that we echo it to
one another at every opportunity.
Most of you now think that I have lost the plot, slipped a cog, or gone round the bend. When,
you may be thinking, have I ever quoted a 1960's musical? Have I ever heard anyone else do
Yes. You have. At every benchmark moment of life, we hear the Eliza chorus, "Just you wait."
A child works hard and graduates from high school. "Just you wait," we say. "Just you wait
until you get into the real world." A young couple gets engaged and the Elizas start in again.
"Just you wait until you have to plan a wedding. Just you wait until you have to make it on no
money. Just you wait until you find out what life is really like."
The newlyweds announce a pregnancy. "Just you wait until morning sickness/ the third
trimester/labor." A much-loved child is born and the young parents show off their sweet baby.
"Just you wait," says some knowing loved one. "Just you wait until she can walk. Just you wait
until she is two. Just you wait until she is 16 and all the boys are at the door."
If the parents mention financial difficulties someone is sure to remind them of braces and college
and missions and weddings and all the other potential nightmares of a family's financial life.
Just you wait.
We are threatening those with love with their own futures. If you enjoy today, just you wait until
tomorrow. You have no idea how awful it will get. Like the early mapmakers said, "There be
Monsters." No wonder we are all so anxious.
It would be excusable if our warnings were at least the truth. But they are not. When we look
back on our lives, the same moments we were warned of are the moments of joy.
We remember the sense of pride mixed with white-hot terror as we embarked our first real job.
We remember tiny dingy newlywed apartments. We remember burnt dinners and lots of sex.
We remember our babies becoming independent. We tell charming stories about how cute they
were when they were two.
We find that teenaged children are God's greatest gift. Who else is as interesting and fun? We
enjoy late night talks after dates. We rejoice in letters from missions. We cry happy tears at
weddings as our families grow. The same life we warn and worry about, we rejoice over once
I am not advocating that we stop saying, "Just you wait." When we have more experience and
wisdom, there is nothing wrong with sharing it. Let's just make sure we are telling the truth.
Life is a blessing and a joy. There is heartache and suffering. But there are days that shine so
bright it makes your head hurt.
Let's just tell the truth. The next baby shower/wedding/graduation/ or other benchmark moment
you attend, take a moment to say, "Just you wait. This is going to be awesome."
I am me. I live at my house with my husband and kids. Mostly because I have found that people
get really touchy if you try to live at their house. Even after you explain that their towels are
fluffier and none of the cheddar in their fridge is green.
I teach Relief Society and most of the sisters in the ward are still nice enough to come.