parenting advice

Love, I see you there/ Adrift on the air/Floating by the open window.
-Sarah Harmer

Raising children in a small town has its advantages. It’s never far to get from school to the pool, and from there to the arena, and then back home. If you’re stuck, you can usually call any number of parents to give your child a ride home. But it also has its downsides.

“Be who you are and say what you feel. Because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

I like Dr. Seuss, but that particular quote places a huge burden on those with whom we share our lives. When really, surviving a family holiday is as much about what we don’t say as what we do.

Ul-ti-ma-tum: A final demand, the rejection of which will result in retaliation or a breakdown in relations.

When I have a moment of free time I often duck into the bookstore and treat myself to some literary delicacy that suits my whim. Then I spend the next month skulking around the house like a spy, hyper vigilant of the next opportunity to sneak away and consume my book.

In the early days of my career I worked, on numerous occasions, as a medical volunteer in India, Nepal, and South America. It was rewarding work and something I will likely return to once the kids have taken flight. The second of these trips, to South America, was the most enlightening.

The first snow has fallen. Today, down on the ground, parents shuffled to school under rain soaked hoods, their eyes trained on a dozen rubber boots running by: ladybugs, frogs, spidermen, assorted bogs with new fall designs. Nobody was looking up, only down. Perhaps wondering if this sort of weather justified splurging on a really expensive coffee. But later in the day, when the clouds lifted, there it was: a snow line down to the Bear’s Den. There can be no doubt what lies ahead: winter.

“There are people who think that art exists for its own sake, but I do not think so. Art exists for the human species. I think that all of the people who love art, those who teach art, and all of you, should burn with the obligation to save the world.”