We have two cats. One is fat, likes to sleep, and snuggle next to you. And the other is slender, anxious, and looks for any moment to sneak out the back door with you. Once he is in the yard, we all try to figure out how to quiet the others, so we can snatch him up and bring him back inside the house. After going through this ordeal for the last couple of weeks, we decided to let him hang out in the yard with us. It was going well, till someone asked where’s the cat?….”look mom, he’s in the tree ,” said my youngest son.
Yes he decided to venture up the tree. “Cats are great at climbing up, but not always so good about coming down,” my wife said. “That’s why people have called the fire department to come over and help.” When I heard that, my internal shame meter went from 0-60. There is no way I am calling the fire department over to our house to get a cat. Furthermore I am not about to answer questions from gawkers that will come over to watch the show their tax dollars paid for.
So we try coaxing him for about 10 minutes, and then agree to wait and see what happens. At that point, my wife and son leave for the grocery store. My youngest son is on the swing. And I’m raking the yard, with one eye on the tree. All I don’t need is a dead or injured kitty on my hand. As my son yelled out, “he’s going up the tree,” I’d call to the cat, hoping he’d respond.
I tried gently tossing the soccer ball, hoping he’d scooch-no luck. And then I wondered about spraying some water from the hose, but the sprayer was so messed up, I got more water on me than the cat. And by now, I noticed the birds were watching him, and appeared to be taunting him. “Here dumb kitty,” I could hear them chant. The only problem was they were not on the same tree, which would mean he’d have to do some leaping from one tree to another. So I took out the ladder.
Of course, my son wanted to climb up with me. We got one of the cats toys, hoping he’d come to that, but he just slowly walk down the narrow branch, and then freaked out. You could almost hear him say, “I can’t. I just can’t. I’ll fall. I know I’ll fall. HELP!!! Get me a kitty xanex.” When I thought of him falling and hurting himself, I could only imagine the vet bills-so I climbed up the kids castle, which is near the tree. And before I knew it, I was climbing up.
I reached out, pulled him to me. Strangely, I was waiting to hear, “My hero,” followed by purrs of adoration. Instead, I got a freaked out cat with claws extended, screaming, “I’m going to die…you’re going to drop me..Where are you going..how are you going to get down..I’m going to jump..I can’t..I ought to scratch you..So I moved down slowly and put him in the castle. Of course, he then scurried around the yard and then flopped on the ground from exhaustion.
It was as if realty hit him. He was on the ground reflecting on his near death experience. For a moment, our other cat came out, and …then quickly returned back in the house and went to sleep.
First, welcome to all the babies born today! It is a very special day for most of us. And you too!! Hopefully in your future, you will wonder why we made such a big fuss over “your birthday.”
Barack Obama, an African American will become our 44th president. What is remarkable about this is? ….well, simply that. Also he may be the first president to be called the “n” word. What is the “N” word?” Never mind. What’s really important is it means any baby-brown, yellow, black, able or disabled, male or female,gay or straight(not sure how many of you know yet about the gay-straight thing) can reallistically strive to be whatever they want to be.
You hopefully won’t understand this, but for most of us, we bought into the idea that only certain people could be President, or part of “his” inner circle. And so we kept nominating and electing the same types of people over and over.
And as you will learn, some have defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results. Well this time, we considered different choices and we had different results. And we have a cabinet that reflects options for all of you new borns.
Baby, you really can be whatever you want. So learn from President Obama, and aim for the moon, and shoot for the stars.
From those of us,
who gave up on dreams and settled for status quo.
It is official, Mrs. Robison, Michelle Obama’s mother will move into the
White House. I didn’t know what to think of this until I read the
N. Y. Times story about it.
It appears she is a strong woman with her own opinions on how things
should be. She disagrees with the Obama’s decision to put their kids to
bed at 8:30 p.m. and to limit the amount of television they watch. When
it comes to eating, she likes her fried foood with salt. “If you’re going to
have fried chicken,” she said, “have fried chicken.”
I like her. And I like the way the Obama’s are truly living out the idea of
“family values.” To me, this decision conveys the message that it is
Ok to value our elderly relatives. Too often, our culture is about sending
the elderly away, rather than inviting them into our lives and working
Moreover they are communicating that simply not agreeing with a mother
in law or elderly family member is not reason enough to avoid them. As
the population in this country ages, we need more creative ways to deal
with the elderly, And this intergenerational model may offer us one alternative
to nursing homes.
So cheers, “here’s to you Mrs. Robinson.”
I read an article about New Years resolutions today. Its usually the same content the papers have every year about peoples desire to lose weight and stop smoking. In fact, it is so redundant, they could print the same article every year and I doubt anyone would notice the difference.
So I thought to myself, why not simplify this, and come up with one small goal that most of us could achieve- An apology-amends-an I’m sorry to one person in your life.
For those of you, who don’t have much experience doing this, let me explain. Identify someone you believe you have hurt with your words or actions, seek them out, and either write, email, call, or talk in person to them. Simply state the following, “I’m sorry for___________.
Some of you are probably saying, “but he/she did this to me…will they apologize for what they did….It”s not fair that I have to…what if they tell me what I lousy person I am and pile it on because I owned up to being at fault…will this be an admission of guilt? Blah, Blah, Blaah, Blah. Bullsh5$@^t!
Don’t complicate this. Just find a friend, lover, colleague, family member, store clerk-anyone you believe deserves an apology from you because of something you said or did. But what if I can’t come up with anyone? How will I know if I owe an apology? Here are some examples.
Did you lie, yell, blame, judge, criticize, shame, steal, mistreat physically, verbally, or emotionally, effect another person in a way that made them feel like a bad person? If the answer is yes, apologize. Ok, you want more specific examples.
If you yelled at your kid and he freaked out; If you called your significant other names; If you blamed someone else at work for your mistake- If you come up with ideas, then attempt to justify it as not really being something worthy of an apology-then it qualifies for an apology.
I believe it is an attainable goal for the new year. I’d like to hear examples of what others might apologize for.
Christmas is overwhelming for me. I experience so much pressure to buy or give, and yet it can feel pretty forced. So the spirit of giving happens spontaneously, it means more to me. So here is my experience of the magic of Christmas.
Last Sunday, it was about -4 degrees in the city. We had been in the house all day. So my wife and oldest son decided to go for a short walk around the block, while I stayed and played with my younger son. Shortly after leaving the house, the door bell rang. It was my wife and son. “We need some muscle to move a car,” she said.
A twenty something year old boy living at a place called, “Artist in Residence” was trying to get his car out of a snow packed parking spot. So we rocked his car, told him not to burn so much rubber, and eventually got him back on the road. It felt like the right thing to do. And I liked that our son experienced the moment.
On Monday, my wife called me at work. “You remember the artist with the skull & crossbones on his car-the one we pushed out of the snow? He left us a box of choclates with a note to the family that went out of its way to help me out.”
It was a complete surprise. To me, it combines the message of Christmas. You give to others with the nothing more than the best of intentions and then you move on. And sometimes, when you least expect it, something good comes back your way.
I recently saw this advertisement in the New York Time. The head line was,
“How to talk to your kids about drugs if you did drugs. It was a full page
ad sponsored by the Partnersip for a Drug-Free America. You probably
remember the “this is your brain…this is your brain on drugs” campaign.
On balance, I tend to think they offer the best in public health messages.
But this message was unique.
This puts responsibility on the parents to work with their children to
prevent drug and alcohol abuse. One way is to help parents to overcome their
own ambivalence about being confronted with questions about their own
drug and alcohol history. This is in great contrast to prior messages,
that hope children or teens will simply say “no.”
Since the holidays are a time when families come together, it’s also a time
when drug and alcohol abuse tend to increase. Therefore it seems like a
good time to consider having a talk with your kids. And in order to help us do
so, the Partnership for a Drug Free America offers some guidance.
1.) This isn’t about you.
2) Think about how much your kids wants or needs to know. The fact
is we can all say too much.
3) Many experts suggest giving an honest answer or none at all.
4) Avoid giving your child more information than they have asked for.
5) Say what you mean to say, don’t beat around the bush “I don’t want
you to use drugs.”
6) Share what you’ve learned from your experience with drugs.
7) Try connecting around the reasons you might have used, such as,
“I thought I needed to use to fit in..It took me awhile to realize it wasn’t a
8) Everyone makes mistakes, and trying drugs was a mistake I made. I love
you to much to watch you repeat bad decisions I made.
9)I wanted to share my experience with you, because even if drugs didn’t
ruin my life, I’ve seen them ruin other people’s lives.
10) Ask what they think. Keep asking questions and keep listening to
11) Stay Calm. Try not to raise your voice. It’s ok to admit these conversations
aren’t easy for you either.
12) If you’re nervous, don’t put off having the conversation. This isn’t
about your past. It’s about your child’s future.
For more information, go to drugfree.org
Don\'t be a Patsy