Tuesday, July 01, 2008

I think a lot about kids. Mostly I think about the kids already here on this planet and how we're serving them but sometimes I think about the ones who aren't here yet. I'm on the eternal quest to figure out how to make them all happy and well and smart and the best caretakers of the next group of kids they can be.

The thing about a quest is that you rarely get to the end of it and the journey tends to be messy and inconclusive. I'm told that the honor is in the trying. Some days I believe it.

This year with the presidential election and the democratic candidates who are in the ring there's been a lot of gender discussion. The race discussion, I'm assuming, will start any minute now, perhaps it's already in full swing where you are but here it's been the gender discussion that has taken center stage. Would a "real" woman who cares about women vote for anyone but a woman if she had a choice? If we have been lucky to have made strides as women is it our sworn duty to help the women coming up behind us? The girls need us. Even John Mayer talks about the girls (we know how much he likes girls).

Funny, though, did you ever really listen to this line in Daughters, "
Boys, you can break/You'll find out how much they can take". He says that like it's a good thing.

It's not just about the boys, either. It's about how to approach a problem. It's about how to approach every problem and the more I look the more I don't know but, thankfully I suppose, the more I'd like to. Jen Lemen went to Africa to help the girls but she, too, was reminded that it wasn't that simple, that we are all intertwined no matter how much we'd like to split off a small part of the problem and solve it singly and completely.

Someone said to her, "
You can keep pulling the girls and boys out of the water before they drown or you can go to the head of the river and discover the source of pain that lands them in the river in the first place." Could someone please just point me to the head of the river, though, because I've been looking and so far I haven't been able to find it.


  1. I was going to say something profound, but my kid is asking for books and how can I say no to that?

  2. Anonymous5:24 PM

    truthfully? I think the source of the river is the self protective nature that makes one person see another person as something other, as a stranger or a competitor. That fear and mistrust breed isolation and class distinction which limits opportunities, which makes people look for alternative paths to meet their needs like crime or drugs and generally leads to people devaluing the lives of others. I think it starts by taking people as they are and holding them accountable to the things they say and do. With the shows I've been working on, I always want to bring out how much we're all alike as opposed to showing the things that separate us. I think it's whst people need to hear. I have no idea if it helps.

  3. Baldsug is on to something. Gandhi asked "if we see ourselves in the other, then whom can we harm?" The idea of our differences has been too loudly proclaimed, I think, and we need to start recognizing that I AM my brother's keeper.

    The head of the river is a hard thing to pin down, because it's different for everyone. Whenever I start thinking about the enormity of it all, I remember that I wasn't sent here to save the world, but to make my little corner of it a little more livable. Do what you can where you are with what you have. That's all anyone can do, really - and if everyone DID it, we'd all be better off...

  4. I think what I was going to say before is that we all have a child somewhere inside that we're still trying to nurture, develop, and possibly, make reparations for. Raising kids, whether you're parenting, teaching, or being a village member, is at its hardest when the needs of your inner child are at odds with the child you are raising. So I think, in some sense, the village also has to raise its grown-ups in order to raise its children.

  5. The hardest part for me is reminding myself not to forget.
    Noodle falls into the group of challenging but brilliant. If you had ever met her Kizz... you would love her. You'd have long conversations with her and she loves ice cream and pudding.
    When you first become a parent it is like someone has dropped you both into the middle of the ocean and you can see no shore. And its not just you that you have to keep afloat anymore. But as they grow and you PAY ATTENTION and guide them and really stay involved in their lives... you get closer and closer to the shore. There are going to be times... Shark! But that is the cool part because when something dangerous happens you have their full attention.
    I appreciate so much that you care about more than just your own self. And somedays I can feel you swimming along side me helping me get my baby to the shore.

  6. I don't know what the solution to that would be, though, Baldsug, because isn't it also the essence of individuality?

    God JRH, the grown ups are the worst part. I have no idea how to teach them.

    Gert I've wanted to meet her ever since she painted herself with calamine lotion.