Enough is Really Enough, Folks

Today I’m feeling real anger about the most recent school shooting in Parkland, FL, and about our inability as a culture to act like adults for a change and enact sensible gun control legislation.

Looking at the faces of those teenagers who lived through the event, who stepped over the bodies of people they knew as they were rushed out with their hands above their heads like criminals by police who looked like Robocops into a swirl of smoke and fear just broke something inside of me.  I sat and sobbed as I listened to them tell their stories.  I couldn’t take my eyes off their faces.  And I cannot imagine the pain the families of the deceased are enduring even as I write this.  I can’t imagine my daughter dying that way, at the hands of another broken nut case who can’t cope and wants to destroy life as violently as he can.

I wonder where all the normal gun owners are now and why they are not organizing to stop the sale of assault weapons.  Don’t they understand that their own reputation gets worse with each senseless shooting?

70% of Americans do not own guns, nor feel the need, and are getting really really fed up with this blind all-or-nothing thinking when it comes to the 2nd Amendment.

My father owned guns and taught us how to shoot when I was growing up.  My former husband owned guns and was raised as a hunter by his father.  My compadre brother-in-law owns guns as a hunter.  These are all good people who are responsible with their weaponry, so I’m assuming that most people who own guns are similar.

I just wish they would organize and break the grip of the NRA, which is a corrupt organization of zealots who stand by and rationalize the deaths of innocent teenagers who happened to be in the wrong place (school) at the wrong time (during the school day).

I accept the fact that the price of freedom may be random violence because in a nation of rebels, some will always take it to the extreme.

But this steady cadence of gun violence unleashed on the most vulnerable is not normal.  It is obscene and we should no longer tolerate it.

Don’t believe me?  Just look carefully at the faces of those kids who literally recorded the sounds and the chaos of a shooting event so that they could share it with the rest of us so that we’d do something about it.

Look at their eyes.  See what this did to them.  And now imagine that they were your children. How would you feel that you could not protect them?

And as for me, in my anger and frustration I write and plan the acts of kindness I’ll do today to anchor more peace into my country that so badly needs it.

 

 

 

 

 

An Open Letter to Trump Fans

Sorry, Trump true-believers, but it must be said.  There is a serious cognitive dissonance problem with your attraction to Trump.

Aren’t you, the people who support this mentally ill man, the same ones who would rage at a school’s administration if your own kid was getting bullied?  Don’t you see that Trump is the living personification of the school yard bully, the one who rules the other kids by fear?

I call Mr. Trump “WhinyBaby” because he has the emotional  set point of a 3 yr old, the proverbial toddler with a shotgun.

“Waaa, waaa.  That man said bad things about me.  Waaa waaa.  He’s a big poopy head.  Poopy head, poopy head, you’re a big poopy head.”   Sigh…

Over and over we see this played out on the big public stage, so predictable.  One minute you’re ‘a great guy’.  The next minute you’re “little” or “lyin’” or “crooked” or “corrupt” or “Pocahontas” because of something you said or wrote.  Poopy head, poopy head,  anyone who says anything in the slightest way critical of Mr Trump becomes a poopy head.  And you guys love it.

As adults you act so victimized, and though you’ve been beaten up by life just like the rest of us, you’ve chosen to blame others/immigrants/politicians/the system for your life condition.

How else to explain such an emotional allegiance to a man who literally does not make sense when he speaks, who frequently says opposite things in the same sentence, who takes pleasure in scaring and mistreating other people he doesn’t even know when he feels threatened.

Hey, Trump fan.  If a rich kid at your kid’s school acted like this and constantly picked on your kid, ridiculing them and turning others against them, how would you like it?

What would you think of a child like that?  Would you really think he was ‘strong’? How would you want the adults in charge to act?

Forget all the “make America great again” rhetoric and step back to look at the man.

This is the guy who bullied you when you were a child.  This is the guy who would bully you again in a heartbeat if you got in his way.

This is the man who ties up the courts with groundless law suits against people who hurt his feelings because he needs the Big Bad Mommy/Daddy Judge to beat them up for him if he can’t bully them into submission. He’s filed a whopping 3500 lawsuits in his career…I mean, who does that?  Would you trust a neighbor who sues at the drop of a hat?

This is the man who has filed bankruptcy four times.  Who has been married three times and whose cheating on his spouses (those same kids’ mothers, by the way) was publicly self-promoted on Howard Stern’s show. Who had a habit of cold calling journalists pretending to be someone else (that’s known as lying) to brag about how “amazing” that Donald Trump is.  Who lies, cheats, insults, and takes full advantage of any situation to make money, including the housing bust and the financial tsunami of 2008 that lost you real money and maybe even a job.

This is the man whose pretty daughter took to twitter to sell copies of her dress right after she walked off stage when she introduced him at the Republican Convention (#self-serving), because, you know, everything is for sale in a Great America.

Clearly Trump’s Great America is a Tacky America.

Doesn’t that bother you?  Could you imagine George Washington’s, Abraham Lincoln’s, Teddy Roosevelt’s, even Ronald Reagan’s kids doing anything like that?

Forget how pretty Trump’s kids all look (isn’t it coincidental that his daughters are what he would call ’10’s?  Hmmm.) and how nice they seem.  They are all tethered to his business somehow, scared to step out and make a living on their own without their father’s enormous wealth to back them, as his own father’s enormous wealth backed him.

Hey, Trump fan.  If the guy I just described was not Donald Trump, but some nobody, what would you honestly think of him?  How in the world can you trust this trainwreck of a man?

So you have to ask yourself.  Are you still that scared kid getting bullied by that brat who keeps getting away with it because the adults in charge are ignoring YOU?

Are you a victim of this political version of ‘domestic violence’, too frightened, too powerless to leave him?

If you really want to make America great again, be a patriot and see who Trump actually is, not who you want him to be.  This fragile Republic that countless thousands of citizens have died for depends on you getting honest with yourself now.

And then vote your conscience, not your fear.

There Is Only One Way To Describe This Person

Donald Trump.  Moron.

It’s clear that this man has a personality disorder (i.e., psychopath).  He says profoundly stupid, insensitive and hurtful things about everyone but himself.  He wants all eyes on him all the time.  He seems to have no shame about his disreputable behavior (he’s been unfaithful to his wives/partners and has gone bankrupt = no integrity) and he keeps getting more outrageous.

I have no idea why people would even entertain the notion of voting for him for president, this blowhard joke of a man.

Pity him because in the end, he can’t take it with him and he’s missed the point about life and love and leaving the world a better place than it was when he joined it.  But don’t even think about voting for him.

The thing about people with personality disorders is that they might seem like they’re normal, and many are uber charismatic and seem bigger than life, but they’re not.  They are mentally ill and they won’t get better.  If you get close to them, they will burn you.

Let’s pass.

A Perfect NYC Day

It’s one of those picture-perfect summer days in NYC with crystal blue skies, puffy cumulus clouds and a soft cool breeze.  Everyone is out on this Saturday, memories of the winter long gone in this city focused on the Now.

I went out early to get a jump on the day, eating breakfast at my favorite corner restaurant in my W 71st St. neighborhood.  Sitting by the window, I watched dads and their little boys dressed in identical  green “West Side Little League” T-shirts heading out for the big game.  And watched so many dogs of all sizes and shapes, generally well-behaved.  Caesar Milano should do a show on the dogs of NYC.  I’ve never seen so many well-mannered dogs anywhere.

Fairway Market is the iconic NYC supermarket, located on 72nd and Broadway.  When I first moved into this neighborhood, I was intimidated by Fairway, because it has to be the most crowded store in the entire city no matter what time of day.  The first time I went shopping there I nearly had a panic attack with all the people jammed together for their shopping experience, but little by little I got used to it.  The food is waaay better than at Whole Foods and the people who work there couldn’t be nicer and more helpful.

Today I witnessed a great NYC moment at Fairway.

Five NYC firefighters came in ready to shop, probably for their kitchen, complete with heavy belts and harnesses with gadgets/tools hung low on their hips, high boots, T-shirts and that confident swagger that firefighters have.

They are as close to royalty in NYC as anyone can get.

One young one yells across the aisle to another who is right in front of me madly searching the shelf. “Hey, Vinnie, you got the soup?  “Nah, I see every type but that one.  No wait, there’s one left but I can’t reach it.”  For the next five minutes, five young fire fighters assemble to figure out how to reach the soup can that’s located about 8 ft up on a shelf.  They take turns lifting each other but no one can reach it.  They huddle.  People weave around them.  They strategize.  They try repeatedly.  No go.  They tease each other as some run off to gather more ingredients for dinner.

Vinnie keeps trying.  Finally, one of the store employees walking by, without being asked,  gracefully and silently grabs the side of the shelf, climbs up a bit, whisks the can off from its high perch and drops it into Vinnie’s hand.  Just like that. The Fairways employee smiles and walks away.  The firefighters send up a loud laughing whoop at Vinnie’s expense and they all yell thanks to the worker who has all but disappeared.  People waiting on the check out line are aware but keep a respectful detachment.  I see some smiles among them.  I keep it discreet as well, because that’s NY.  Love this city.

What Hath Jobs Wrought?

I’m not sure whether Steve Jobs was the best thing that ever happened to our culture or the worst.  It’s clear that he was a modern day Edison, a genius with vision and a love of beautiful design (take that, HP and Dell et al).  His imagination changed our world so fast and so profoundly that we Mac users actually feel cool when using Apple products.  I depend on my MacBook Pro, my IPad and my IPhone to be connected to the world and therein lies the rub…

There are disturbing things afoot, friends, and though I risk sounding like some crazy luddite, I’m raising my concern because the health and right to privacy of an entire generation is at stake.

Last week when I went to my local Apple store to buy a replacement plug, I had to fight my way through a long line wrapped around the building to get ‘approved’ to enter by a security guard.  What’s this, I asked him, pointing to a few hundred people patiently waiting in line at 10am on a Wed. He looked at me like I had just flown in from Pluto and quipped, “The new IPhone.”  Later that day I met with a student who was thrilled to show me his new phone.  ”And wait, you haven’t seen the best thing yet”, he squealed, jumping up and down in his seat.  ”I don’t need a security code, just my fingerprint.

Say whaaaat?  Your fingerprint??? OMG

So your new IPhone uses your fingerprint as its security code.  It also tracks your movements even when you turn it off.  And you can’t disable that.  There are back doors coded into its architecture, compliments of the NSA, placed there to, you know, capture terrorists.  Not that you are one, mind you.  But you are supposed to feel safe that your government is listening to everything you say and write and text, which is a violation of your PRIVACY.  And we have no idea why they are really doing this.  If you think it’s just to catch terrorists, you need to pay closer attention.

Then there are the social changes these devices have created.  I notice how nearly everyone on the subway is reading something on their smart phone or tuned out to music, head down, shoulders curled forward, chest collapsed. Personal trainers see the damage of this new posture problem.  I see people texting and reading their devices as they step out into on-coming traffic or bump into other pedestrians on crowded Manhattan streets.  People make business deals, discuss medical diagnoses, gossip, flirt and expose their private lives to the hundreds around them in restaurants and waiting rooms with no embarrassment or recognition that this is an annoyance to the others around them.  Now that wifi is on some subways, I recently stood next to a woman on a jammed #3 train who was raging and cursing at her husband on her phone for 3 full stops.  Hundreds of others listened in and squirmed.  Even in NYC, it’s all too much.

The evidence is mounting that the electro-magnetic fields created by these devices are dangerous over time to living cells.

And we’re giving IPads to kids as little as 18 months as if they were toys.  The directions that come with the IPhone instruct us to keep the phone at least 5/8ths of an inch away from the body and to avoid using it when the signal is weak because the phone will produce more radiation to compensate.  Oh, and not to wear it on our bodies.  Do you think anyone really knows this? This is all in the small print.

Soon we’ll be a wi-fi nation and we have no idea what that will mean to our overall health.  This reminds me of an earlier era – the ’50s and ’60s – when “better living through chemistry” was the rage and our environment was nearly wrecked by the recklessness of the chemical companies and lax government oversight.  Think SuperFund cleanups that cost us all billions of dollars and untold lives lost to cancer and auto-immune diseases triggered by substances created in a the laboratory our bodies were not designed to contain and destroy.  All I can think of is here we go again.  Lesson not learned.

So, hmmm, let’s see…  Convenience and cool vs radiation, compulsion and invasion of privacy.

What will we ultimately choose?

So What Is Our Obligation to Our Fellow Citizens of The World Anyway?

This topic of our ultimate responsibility to civilization is on my mind a lot.  I’ve been writing non-stop about how college admissions must serve the nation and not just the individual university because education is the fastest way to broaden and deepen a middle class and a broad and deep middle class equals peace and prosperity well into the future.  I recall years ago hearing a BBC reporter who had covered Sarajevo’s destruction succinctly describe the ultimate tragedy of that war.  He said that if only they’d had one more generation to build their middle class, the war would never had happened “because people who have mortgages and appliances and who send their kids to private schools do not want to do war.”

I hear his voice in my head today and I take that as a warning for America, because whatever we’ve been doing since the 1980s is taking us in the wrong direction.

Colleges routinely give away millions of dollars in merit aid to students who can afford the bill, strategically choosing to invest their own monies to create future major donors, while admitting and not funding needy applicants.  While this strategy makes sense for the individual college and that individual student, it sucks for the nation in the long run.  The gap between haves and have nots hasn’t been this wide since the 1930s.  75% of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck.  The middle class is eroding. Where, exactly, did our sense of The Greater Good go?  And how do we get it back?

In the same vein, I’m listening to the Syria story and thinking about our moral duty as human beings in light of chemical weapons being used on Syrian civilians.  In 1994, I heard a BBC report that a whole unit of Belgian UN peacekeeping soldiers had been murdered in Rwanda after the Rwandan president was killed when his plane was brought down by a surface-to-air missile. This began the Rwandan genocide.  The head of the UN Peacekeepers there, the great Canadian Lt. General Romeo Dallaire whom many consider to be a hero, tried valiantly and unsuccessfully to get the world to intervene.  He saved as many lives as he personally could.  After that war, suffering from severe PTSD, this honorable man tried to commit suicide out of despair for the lives he couldn’t save.  (How come he never got the Noble Peace Prize?)

The US, like the rest of the world, did nothing as one million people (20% of Rwanda’s population) were murdered over the course of 100 days.  That would’ve been the sixth genocide of the 20th century.

In hindsight, Bill Clinton says that this was one of the biggest mistakes of his presidency.

My dear friends Lori Leyden and Rosemary Dowling are in Rwanda as I write this, still working with the orphans of that genocide, kids who are now in their late teens/early 20s, raising money and sending many of them to university.  If only we’d intervened in 1994.  So much human talent lost to the world.  What happened there really was a crime against humanity.

And so it is with Syria today.

My problem is that I don’t know who gassed those poor people in Damascus.  The government?  The rebels as a false flag event?

There is so much disinformation now, so little truth coming out of any government, since business interests seem to trump everything in this period of transition.  I’d like to believe Obama.  I’d like to believe that he cares about the Syrian people and the 1 million children officially suffering from the PTSD resulting from the bombing and mayhem.

I’d like to think that leaders of both of our  parties understand the oneness of all human beings and see the unacceptability of using chemical weapons on anyone.  But I suspect they don’t and deals will be struck where money is to be made.  As Bill Maher says about Americans, “Why are we always the stupid people?”

So instead of murdering entire families at weddings by drone strike, how about we use those drones to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria?  I do not support war in general, or violence of any kind, but I do believe in drawing the line at weapons of mass destruction.  It should be just as unacceptable to use chemical weapons on this planet as it is to use nuclear ones.  I get that the effects of the former are local and those of the latter spread worldwide.  (And thank God, too, or I’m sure we would’ve had nuclear war by now.)

But there is a serious moral argument to be made by all free people on behalf of those who are not.  Every life is precious and necessary in the same way all living creatures hold their unique places in the ecosystems.

The Prime Directive for Humans should be “No Matter What, Do No Harm and for God’s sake DON’T FU*K THINGS UP”.

I would love to see Obama, on behalf of me and all Americans, destroy those chemical weapon sites and production plants in Syria as well as in our own country with as much attention as we’ve placed on destroying nuclear weapons. Then we might really live up to our reputation as “the home of the brave”.

So What Is Our Obligation to Our Fellow Citizens of The World Anyway?

This topic of our ultimate responsibility to civilization is on my mind a lot.  I’ve been writing non-stop about how college admissions must serve the nation and not just the individual university because education is the fastest way to broaden and deepen a middle class and a broad and deep middle class equals peace and prosperity well into the future.  I recall years ago hearing a BBC reporter who had covered Sarajevo’s destruction succinctly describe the ultimate tragedy of that war.  He said that if only they’d had one more generation to build their middle class, the war would never had happened “because people who have mortgages and appliances and who send their kids to private schools do not want to do war.”

I hear his voice in my head today and I take that as a warning for America, because whatever we’ve been doing since the 1980s is taking us in the wrong direction.

Colleges routinely give away millions of dollars in merit aid to students who can afford the bill, strategically choosing to invest their own monies to create future major donors, while admitting and not funding needy applicants.  While this strategy makes sense for the individual college and that individual student, it sucks for the nation in the long run.  The gap between haves and have nots hasn’t been this wide since the 1930s.  75% of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck.  The middle class is eroding. Where, exactly, did our sense of The Greater Good go?  And how do we get it back?

In the same vein, I’m listening to the Syria story and thinking about our moral duty as human beings in light of chemical weapons being used on Syrian civilians.  In 1994, I heard a BBC report that a whole unit of Belgian UN peacekeeping soldiers had been murdered in Rwanda after the Rwandan president was killed when his plane was brought down by a surface-to-air missile. This began the Rwandan genocide.  The head of the UN Peacekeepers there, the great Canadian Lt. General Romeo Dallaire whom many consider to be a hero, tried valiantly and unsuccessfully to get the world to intervene.  He saved as many lives as he personally could.  After that war, suffering from severe PTSD, this honorable man tried to commit suicide out of despair for the lives he couldn’t save.  (How come he never got the Noble Peace Prize?)

The US, like the rest of the world, did nothing as one million people (20% of Rwanda’s population) were murdered over the course of 100 days.  That would’ve been the sixth genocide of the 20th century.

In hindsight, Bill Clinton says that this was one of the biggest mistakes of his presidency.

My dear friends Lori Leyden and Rosemary Dowling are in Rwanda as I write this, still working with the orphans of that genocide, kids who are now in their late teens/early 20s, raising money and sending many of them to university.  If only we’d intervened in 1994.  So much human talent lost to the world.  What happened there really was a crime against humanity.

And so it is with Syria today.

My problem is that I don’t know who gassed those poor people in Damascus.  The government?  The rebels as a false flag event?

There is so much disinformation now, so little truth coming out of any government, since business interests seem to trump everything in this period of transition.  I’d like to believe Obama.  I’d like to believe that he cares about the Syrian people and the 1 million children officially suffering from the PTSD resulting from the bombing and mayhem.

I’d like to think that leaders of both of our  parties understand the oneness of all human beings and see the unacceptability of using chemical weapons on anyone.  But I suspect they don’t and deals will be struck where money is to be made.  As Bill Maher says about Americans, “Why are we always the stupid people?”

So instead of murdering entire families at weddings by drone strike, how about we use those drones to stop the use of chemical weapons in Syria?  I do not support war in general, or violence of any kind, but I do believe in drawing the line at weapons of mass destruction.  It should be just as unacceptable to use chemical weapons on this planet as it is to use nuclear ones.  I get that the effects of the former are local and those of the latter spread worldwide.  (And thank God, too, or I’m sure we would’ve had nuclear war by now.)

But there is a serious moral argument to be made by all free people on behalf of those who are not.  Every life is precious and necessary in the same way all living creatures hold their unique places in the ecosystems.

The Prime Directive for Humans should be “No Matter What, Do No Harm and for God’s sake DON’T FU*K THINGS UP”.

I would love to see Obama, on behalf of me and all Americans, destroy those chemical weapon sites and production plants in Syria as well as in our own country with as much attention as we’ve placed on destroying nuclear weapons. Then we might really live up to our reputation as “the home of the brave”.

We Have Babies!

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge aren’t the only ones to bring new life into the world this week (and welcome to you, George).  Life is coming in all the time, though it is rarely noticed by as many as have followed the Little Prince’s arrival.

Check out this healthy sparrow nest in the rafters at my beach house in RI.  This rafter area in my eaves has always been the perfect shelter for the little guys who live there year round. Many times when I’ve arrived late at night, turning the lights on as I carried in my bags, I’ve been glared at by one of the braver sparrows who would lean way out, shoot me with a hard and withering look that spoke volumes… there was no mistaking that look and the thought bubble over his little head that said, “WTF?  Turn that *&#* light off.  People are sleeping here!”

There are many different species of wildlife and I love them all.  I had a robin family build their home above the light fixture by my back door a few years ago, but the comings and goings, the ins and outs through that door, drove them away.  After so much effort building a solid nest in a seemingly safe place,  they abandoned the nest and I felt terrible because babies are welcome here.  The robin family never came back.

A robin family has created a nest in the rhododendron in front of my neighbors’ house next door.  From inside Sue and Greg’s picture window you can look down into the bush and the nest and see the little birds.  There is one more blue egg to hatch.  I run next door a lot and now I go to the back door so I don’t scare the robin mother into leaving.

There are baby bunnies everywhere and I wonder when the owls will move in. That circle of life thing…

In the meantime, yesterday I saw the weirdest bird ever looking all disoriented on my large lawn. I think it must be a green heron baby.  It looked like a large brownish, speckled football with an orange beak and long green legs with sharp talons.  I got my binocs out to get a good look because it was so unusual looking (is that an alien bird??).  My neighbor saw it too and we’ve been trying to figure out what it is and why it’s in our yards.  This area is on the flyway for migratory birds and sometimes birds, like people, get lost.  I wish that little guy the best.

Back to my nest.  There are baby sparrows all around the property, birds so tiny my heart just breaks to see them.  Mom and Dad are valiant in their protection of their little ones and I’m grateful to be counted as a neighbor to them all, grateful that we share the same space at the same time.

Now the chipmunks who live in my basement, however, are a different matter…

Homage to My Daughter On Her Birthday

Today is my daughter’s 25th birthday, another #12 (I’m June 12, an auspicious number).   She is my only child, a true soul mate joining me in whatever the heck this thing called life really is.  I suppose that all mothers feel this way about their children, but I swear there is a more special bond than most between us.

I named her after me.  Her name is Nora, the sixth generation of mothers in my family line with this name.  My original name is Mary Lenora, shortened to Marilee.  I was named for Mary, the Mother of Jesus (my mother dedicated me to her) and for both of my grandmothers who were named Nora and Lenora respectively.   As an older mother, I had amniocentesis to check her out in utero for chromosomal irregularities and as soon as I heard she was a girl, I knew she was another Nora.  Could just feel it.  It made sense.

She is a beauty, both physically and in spirit. She has her father’s natural engineering talent and is more intelligent than I am.  She has talents in so many things and a whole lifetime to develop them.  I completely adore her.

The breakup of our family was very hard on Nora, as was my departure form MIT and all of the press that resulted.  She was in college in California at the time and had to deal with it all alone until her amazing advisor, Dean Jeff Huang at Claremont McKenna, stepped in and became a true loving parent in situ.  (How can I ever thank him?)  The past few years have been rough for her and for us, but we always loop back to each other in love, deeply connected.

She has been my greatest teacher and it hasn’t always been easy.  There is no training for parenthood, after all, and she was my one and only.  I was so unprepared for motherhood that I sang her to sleep with show tunes every night because I didn’t know any lullabies.  (There were no lullabies in my home growing up.)  I’ve come a long way since then, believe me, though I’m still figuring out how to parent a 20-something through lots of trial and error, still singing those show tunes, just doing the best I can as a mother.

Nora just called to hear me sing to her a happy birthday song and she told me this story.  This morning she was doing laundry in her Brooklyn laundromat, sitting on the curb, when a small girl, a toddler, broke from her Dad and ran to sit next to her on that street curb.  Then the child gave my daughter the little flower she held in her hand and off she went.  A happy birthday kiss from Spirit.

If you know me, you know that I am not religious but I am a Spirit person.  And I have seen how Spirit often works through children in moments like this, small random gems.   It must’ve been a beautiful moment for my own beautiful girl.

Happy birthday, Honey.  I’m so glad you picked me as your Mom. I love you with all my heart. May you have a long and happy life.

Your Family Trees

Crying what I do is me; for that I came.”

Gerard Manley Hopkins, “As Kingfishers Catch Fires”

Your child is very much like an acorn, which is the seed of the mighty oak tree.  While sharing common characteristics, each is utterly unique, destined to be who they are, eager to move into why they came.

Acorns become oaks, never birches or maples.  Under the right circumstances, they grow into their most magnificent selves.  Under trying circumstances, they do not grow into their ideal selves, though no matter what they will still grow toward the light.

Parents play the crucial roles of grounding cord and stabilizer, of nurturer and guardian, and most importantly, as mirror to reflect their child in the child’s highest light.  But social convention and a superficial definition of success often paralyzes us parents into believing that our real job is to ‘civilize’ children and so enchain them, and we sometimes work to turn them into other things that may seem more desirable to the culture.  Birches, after all, contain aspirin in their bark and thereby relieve human pain (doctors).  Sugar maples produce a delicious kind of sugar that makes people happy (entertainers).   It’s tempting to want these kinds of individuals in the family.

But chances are, your child is an oak, with a million different offerings, and on some level they want to run and scream weeeeeeeeeeeeee, reveling in themselves.  Pay careful attention to who your young oak truly is and don’t mess with perfection.

How can you nurture your little acorn today?