I feel the need, the need for … SLOW

tortoise-and-hare-bugs-learns-a-lesson One of my kids told me the other night, in a moment of raw authenticity, “I just want to know what I’m good at and do it.” The kid was longing to land. The kid was already tired of the race. Tired of the race that seems endless, getting him nowhere but to places that require him to do more – and more – and more, just to keep up. A teenager, worn out. Saying out loud words I sometimes feel … Don’t we all feel? The bars for which we are encouraged to reach seem to move just about the time we get there. The kid longed out loud for the wheels to stop spinning and to land on solid ground. Having been born in a day and age where acting/doing/being can be done 24/7 and seen 24/7 – be it on youtube, instagram, Twitter, Facebook, xBox, Playstation, the slightly suspect snapchat and more – it’s highly likely that very few days in

Unlikely Tell-Tale Signs of a Safe Home

images-1 “I would never do that at school or at church!” He had just relieved himself of a little gas. And, since he was sitting on one of our metal stools at the kitchen island, it was loud and unmistakable. Still, he tried to blame it on something else. But quickly realizing the futility in accusing some other source, he confessed. “Then, why on earth would you do it here?” I ask, looking for a window to open. “Because,” he sheepishly grinned.  “.. Home isn’t embarrassing.” And, despite my desire to flee and seek shelter in a flowering meadow, I sank into the words that crossed smiling lips on his bright-eyed face. “Isn’t embarrassing” means safe. He’s okay to be himself. He’s accepted. Escaped gas doesn’t produce whispers, pointed fingers,

“Speak Softly … & less”, Plus 8 other Tips for Talking to Teens

Flowering Cactus “How was lunch?” I ask, venturing into conversation with one of my teens who isn’t much into conversing with parents these days. He had just come from lunch with one of his professors… a Saturday lunch. “Fine.” “What did you talk about?” “I dunno,” he replied. “… stuff.” “Yeah? Anything worth sharing?” I should have stopped. I should have known the well was not producing. “Just stuff,” he looked up from his afternoon bowl of cereal and gave me a little raised-eyebrow nod. If nothing else, at least I had been patient, not bombarding him the minute he came home. “Well, okay,” I give up – knowing that information will flow at another time. I’ve learned that timing is everything with my kids

Life’s Puzzles

IMG_4410 We can’t seem to stop with the puzzles around here. They started during our staycation and have remained as the go-to boredom reliever du jour. Last year it was Mexican Trains. I’m not sure which I like better. So when I’m-Bored tickled my ears the other day, I suggested a puzzle. Toy Story 3 150-piece Foil-Puzzle won. Don’t be fooled by the title or number of pieces. It was brutal – each of the three times we did it. (I still don’t understand Jack’s make, break and make again thing.) The foil finish, with all its weird psychedelic colors, added an unwanted twist to the challenge.  Well, that and the fact that several pieces were exactly the same size and shape. Mid-puzzle, my 24-year-old niece stopped by for a chat. She’s amazing. She’s just finished nursing school and has
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