Time now for another edition of True Facts.
Seasons change, but true facts never do. Mums fade, pumpkins rot, fallen leaves lose their charm, the kids can't play outside anymore. But these facts will always be true.
I am grateful to the women -- and men and children -- who have made these truths known to me:
* Soccer parents love rainy Saturdays. You will find them happily gathered at the grocery store and the hardware store, doing the things they don't get done when they are standing along the same grass field watching no one score.
* In most relationships, we give in order to bring someone closer to you. With children, you give so that you can someday send them away.
* The best part of chicken is the skin.
* Women never clean harder than before they leave on vacation.
* If your husband tells you, "I'll do it in a minute," it won't get done.
* If you volunteer to help out with the Christmas pageant, you will find that it is you who is staying up all night painting all the scenery.
* The End is Closer Than You Think Department: AARP will send bTC you an application for membership at age 48.
* Take a weekend to renew your parenting stamina, and you are sure to find that you have used it all up again within an hour of your return home.
* Likewise, pray for patience in church and see if you can get out of the parking lot without barking at your children.
* All our children have their molars sealed. That means no cavities -- and no dentist drill to threaten them with if they don't brush their teeth.
* A survey of computer owners revealed that one in 14 had thrown something at their computer at least once.
* Your children know more about sex than you think they do.
* Face it. Hamburgers and french fries cannot be part of your life anymore.
* You don't mind if your children don't always show their manners around you -- as long as they are showing them around other mothers.
* You show pictures of your children to anyone standing nearby. But never pictures of your spouse.
* Homework isn't officially done until you see your child actually put it in the backpack.
* The child hasn't been born who can walk down a flight of stairs without touching the walls on both sides with his dirty hands.
* Children will never eat a hot dog on a hamburger roll, so don't even ask.
* On the other hand, a dad will eat a hot dog on a stale heel of bread.
* Your children's rooms are messy for different reasons: Your son doesn't care what his room looks like and never looks behind him when he leaves it. Your daughter can't throw anything away and would like to set it all around the room in little displays. Just shut their doors and move onto something else.
* Never send out a man without a list. And then make sure you write down what to buy if he can't find what you sent him to buy.
* Parents spend more than $14 billion on back-to-school items, according to a survey by a major department store chain. Seems like it is all on your credit card, doesn't it?
* There are no cough medicines that work on your kids at 2 a.m.
* You have to start thinking of cereal as simply a vehicle for conveying milk to a child's mouth. They will not eat any brands that have any nutritional value.
* The only way you can get your child to clean up his room is to tell him that he cannot have a friend over until he does. Then the friend will come over and help your child mess everything up again.
* You can now purchase a beeping device that will help you locate your lost remote control.
* Stop Me If You've Heard This Before Department: "Have you ever not had to buckle your seat belt?"
* A portable phone is a woman's best friend. She can make beds, load the dishwasher, throw in a load of wash and start dinner -- and much, much more -- while talking on the phone.
* Overheard in the 15 minutes before school starts: "What do you mean you can't find the other shoe? How can you lose just one shoe? Why not just lose them together?"
* And the truest true fact of all (and one discerned by a man): Men have to do twice as much housework twice as well as women to get any credit for it.