The kids are all right…

IMG_3373As we head into the deeper part of the fall which for some of us will bring first quarter report cards and for others, our very first parent teacher conference.

Here’s what I know:  the longer that I am a parent, the more I understand about how all of our worries don’t mean much at all.

We have been given this great opportunity to take care of another person in this world.  And of course, we all want to do the very best that we can in that stewardship –

And we all fall in love with our children..’s the thing.  We only have a little tiny fraction of control.  And it’s mostly about whether or not they want their eggs scrambled or fried.  Or boxers or briefs.

Recently, my daughter went through a neuro-psych evaluation to get a bit finer view on the way she learns.  How her brain works.  And here’s the thing…I can tell you right now that my daughter (fourth child of four) has the most adaptive life skills of any of my children.  But her brain has this really hard way of figuring out the world.  One that won’t work so well for certain tasks.

I have known this forever.  Since she was tiny.  Since she didn’t want to sit with me for “Goodnight Moon” or “Chicka Chicka Boom Boom”.  Since then. Because here’s the thing.  You know.  You know right now.  Those instincts that you have.  Very much most of the time are right on.  If you don’t listen to them, then they will become louder (or others will help you with this).

But here’s the point.  None of us are all set.  Or perfect.  We are all just a jumble of feeling and brain and life.  And none of us are perfect.  Some of us are average at everything and some of us are crazy good at something.  Remember this as parents.  Take them as they are.  Love them for who they are.  Because they are beautiful.

And they are just right.

Ebola is not the only Big Bad Wolf


As I listen to the news coverage on Ebola and the various precautions being made in all parts of the country, it is scary to think of that kind of pandemic happening here.  And I am grateful that health care professionals and politicians are already anticipating, preparing, and taking necessary precautions.

But what I really wish is that they – and we – would instead look closer to home at the pandemic that is creating disease, distress, cancer and long term health issues for our children, for ourselves.

Since reading “The Omnivores Dilemma” a few years ago I have been concerned and worried about our food chain.  Now, having just seen the documentary, “Fed Up” – I am truly distressed about what is happening in every grocery store across our towns.  It has been drilled into us that we need to keep our kids moving, exercising, active.  But it isn’t enough to combat the sugar.  80% of the products on the shelves today have added sugar.  Sugar works like cocaine in our brains and creates addictions.

Please take two and a half minutes to watch this trailer:

As some of you may know, I spend my weekends in gyms; either coaching basketball or watching one of my children play.  It has been especially disconcerting this fall to see so many young girls, fifth, sixth, seventh graders who are overweight, bordering on obese.  On the one hand, it is absolutely wonderful that these girls are out on the court, running and enjoying the sport.  Exercising.  But I know now that it isn’t enough for them – and then mostly I really worry about the children that aren’t in the gym at all.

In the United States, the increase in type 2 diabetes among children since 2001 is 30%.  At that rate, by 2050, it is predicted that 33% of all American children will have diabetes.  That is completely preventable – and not by playing basketball or exercising – but by demanding radical change in our food industry.  It is argued in the movie that today’s food industry is behaving like the tobacco industry of thirty years ago.  The good news is that we have created dramatic changes when it comes to cigarettes.  We need now to do the same for our food.

We can do this – but we need to wake up.  We need to demand change.  We need to be worried maybe a little less about Ebola – and a lot more about what’s happening at  Stop and Shop.