Tag Archives: love

Kelly Fries and Friends

My friend Tina was a force to be reckoned with.  She was absolutely opinionated, refused to hold her tongue, got us in trouble on a regular basis and was (excuse my crassness) ‘balls to the wall’.  Now, I’m not saying that I am an angel (even though I am) and that I didn’t get kicked out of some of the seediest bars in PA (those stories are for another time) but Tina had a penchant for being both amazingly loving as well as incredibly irritating.  That girl had a mouth on her that would make a sailor blush and a nun faint but somehow, usually, that made her more endearing.  Her favorite line (which incidentally she had on a shirt, mind you) was “f*ck you, you f*ckin’ f*ckers.”  And somehow, that not only became her traditional response but we all ended up using it on a fairly regular basis.  But still, she was beyond loving.  If you were her friend, she would go rounds with someone she felt slighted you.  That didn’t stop her from being her version of honest with you, though.

We used to go out for a bite to eat, a couple of drinks, and then usually catch a band, most often one of our friends would be playing somewhere nearby.  I would meet the gang for dinner and we would sit around the table, catching up, sharing stories, and just generally being social.  Eventually, everyone would decide to order food.  When the order came to me, it was fairly inevitable that I would simply order French fries.  Time and again, we would all go out and I would order the same thing, French fries.  Eventually, Tina confronted me.

“Why do you always order French fries?  I don’t think I have ever seen you eat anything else.”

Shocked that anyone would notice, I managed to reply that I ordered them because I could never decide on anything else, they put food in my stomach since we were having a drink or two, and mostly, because I really like French fries.

While these reasons are all true, I never did tell her the main reason for my standard order.  Finances.  I simply could not afford to both eat with everyone and still be able to hang out with everyone afterward with an adult beverage in hand.  Simple courtesy.  You sit at a table with people eating, you should eat.  You go to a different venue, social convention dictates that you actually purchase something from that establishment.  So … French fries.  Cheap, easy, filling, and sinfully yummy.  Hey, one’s gotta have one’s vices, na?

It’s pretty clear to me that one’s vices start at a young (or young-ish) age.  For me, one of the first times I ever went out to a diner with friends (sans parental units), I was introduced to what we call ‘kelly fries’.  Now, most people know kelly fries by a different moniker.  Being from a small, rural town, I got to know these ‘sounds disgusting but are sooooo good’ fries only by the term ‘kelly.’  When I left that area, I tried repeatedly to get them served to me but to no avail.  Oh, I’ve had chefs give it a go, but since it wasn’t something done by them before, usually it paled in comparison to my standard.  For anyone who has ever moved, especially to another state, you quickly realize that your favorite comfort foods are regional foods and are notoriously difficult to locate.  Take cheesesteaks, for example.  Living relatively close to Philadelphia, cheesesteaks were everywhere.  Not so much in other parts of the country.  If you don’t believe me, just go ahead and order a cheesesteak in North Carolina or Connecticut.  Let me know how that works out for you.  You’ll get what they call a cheesesteak, but it isn’t anything like the real thing.

But I digress.  I spent years searching through different states to find that elusive cheesesteak, but more importantly, to find KELLY FRIES.  How difficult can it be to find a plate full of French fries with some cheese and gravy on them?  Then I found Canada.  Oh.  My.  Gawd.  They even have a name for it.  Poutine.  Just like Tim Horton’s, the closer you get to Canada, the easier it is to find poutine.  They don’t even care what you call it.  They’ll not only serve it to you, they’ll have it on the menu, for pity’s sake!  If there was ever a discovery that called for the *Snoopy happy dance,* this one fit the bill (yeah, it’s all about the little things).

So, I’m languishing away in Connecticut, no cheesesteaks, no kelly fries, no friends’ bands playing anywhere and out of the blue, one of my best friends insists that I view our friendship on Facebook.  He wanted to remind me how we were so funny a couple of years ago.  Ok, we’re still ridiculously funny, we just don’t manage it nearly as much in publc (and together) than in the past.

Like the good girl I am, I follow this dictate and peruse our past friendship on Facebook.  And, as I’m laughing away at our antics, I come across a very insistent post from me for him to call me.  A demand, really.  As I’m reading this, I’m groaning to myself and wondering what trainwreckedness I’ve gotten into this time so that I have to disturb him at work.  And then I read the rest of the responses.

I insisted he call me because our friend (and fellow llama-lover) Tina died.  And idiotically, one of the first things to go through my mind as I read this post is French fries.  Somehow, the memory of Tina and the memory of our French fry conversation has gotten inexorably tangled up in my mind.  If I wanted to psychoanalyze this, the logical explanation is that just as I’m unable to have kelly fries in an area that just does not have them, I’m unable to have our friendship in a world that just does not have Tina.

But I’m not going to psychoanalyze this.  I’m just going to take it as timely fate that, while French fries and Tina are cohabitating in my memory, my above-mentioned bestie posts an article about putting kelly fries on top of pizza.  With a picture.  And, while I love kelly fries, and I love pizza, I absolutely cannot abide the thought of merging the two.  No thanks, JT.  I’ll take my fries on the side.  With a llama.  In a hat.

~Love Always~

*dedicated to the memory of Tina, may she continue to rest in peace.

llamahat

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The Best of Love

The Best of Love
aka – how to avoid talking yourself out of love

The Best of Love

Falling in love is easy. I’ve met people who fall in love on a regular basis. But staying in love doesn’t happen by accident.

Do you remember falling for your partner? The intellectual conversations were profound, the jokes were hilarious, and the only person you could see was her. Her smile lit up the whole room; her hair was soft, silky, and sexy; and her body and her curves drove you to distraction. She was the person with whom you wanted to spend all your time, whether it entailed dancing, driving, or dinner.

And if you forgive the ongoing alliterations, you would have said that she was pretty, playful, and probably perfect.

So you fell in love.

With love came a bit of responsibility. You had to be considerate of someone else. You had to think about her feelings, her wants, her desires. You were so in love with her, though, that this wasn’t problematic. She was still your night and day and you still desired her above all else.

So, how does that change?

Did you become complacent? Do you believe that now that you have ‘won’ this beautiful creature, you no longer need to try? Did you decide to notice things and categorize them as faults or imperfections?

One of the most wonderful things about loving someone intimately is the fact that you get to be part of their world. You get to know their messy thinking, their silly habits, and the bald truth of exactly who and what they are. You get knowledge about her that perhaps no one else in the entire world has. You get to share joys and worries, hopes and fears, celebrations and heartaches. There is no greater power on Earth than the power of Love.

And yet, it is so very easy to become complacent, to minimalize this astounding gift, to take what you have for granted.

Consider this…

If you love someone, no matter what, you ought to be able to look at someone else and sincerely say something akin to “she is pretty but I like your body better.” It’s that f#*ked up thing where your lover might not actually BE better but they always GET to be better in your mind. Why? Because you are in love!

How can ANYONE be better than my lover? Hella, No! Can’t. Be. Done.

Can you see the pitfalls of not believing this?

The minute you think she is “not as good as XX (insert whatever)” then somewhere, even if it is in the back of your mind, that thought begins to take hold. And, following through, if you can begin to think that she is “not as good as” it can easily become “I wish she were more/less XXX.” From there, it could blossom into active dislike and the idea that the grass might be greener someplace else.

But loving someone means loving them as a whole, not as individual parts. You love her, body, mind, and soul. When you begin to think that something or someone else is better, even in part, you begin to fall out of love, begin to find fault, begin to allow a lessening of that amazing gift of love that you were given.

You do not have to think she has no faults to believe she is perfect. Of course she isn’t perfect, but she is perfect for YOU.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”


More Physics of Love

Accept the physics of love.

Where there is laughter there will be tears. Where there is pleasure there will be pain. Where there is love there will be hate.

Take the bad and accept it for what it is – simply a moment in time and one from which to learn. For every moment of despair, for every feeling of inadequacy, for every unfortunate happenstance, there is an equal and opposite amount of positive experience.

For every trial that is overcome a stronger bond is formed. For every misunderstanding there is a greater understanding. Every hurt, every moment of anger, every tear is but a brick in the foundation of the strongest castle.

For every pleasure there is pain.

Recognize this and understand that the gift of love should be enough to see you through those times of gloom. Realize that the joys are worth every second of heartache experienced together.

Do not stay convinced that a life without negativity or pain could be yours. Learn to fight fairly. Fight each day for the wonderment of love instead of only when it is falling apart.

physics of loveYou worked to keep me only when I was ready to leave. I stayed each time because my heart chose to believe that perhaps this would be the time you would decide that love would be worth the effort. We could have been Antony and Cleopatra, Hepburn and Tracey, Bonnie and Clyde.

I will mourn for you. I hope that one day you may learn the truth that love is worth any effort. And if it is true that I have ruined you, I am selfishly glad because then I have managed to touch a part of you that will be forever mine – as there will always be a part of you within me.

You will be replaced and I will love again. This is perhaps the greatest gift you have given me, the knowledge that I can love. But … I will not settle, not ever again.

I am me and I am not broken. I can love … and I will. I want love and I will have it and my choices are practically limitless. I will be safe and I will be particular and I will be true to myself to an extent that I never before have been. And I will gladly give my heart and my soul to one who understands that love is worth the effort and that the physics of love requires one to accept the lows alongside the highs. sp

 

The_Ruling_Ring


Nirvana

Nirvana: a place or state characterized by freedom from or oblivion to pain, worry, and the external world.

 Nirvana
Nirvana. Without consciously thinking so, I guess I’ve been searching for nirvana. I think most of us are searching. And the reality is that my own personal nirvana is different from everyone else’s. What I believe to be the perfect place or lack from worry or pain is vastly different from my best friend’s, or my cousin’s, or the guys with whom I play poker, or the retired gentleman with whom I sit, or yours.

We may share many traits and thoughts and ideals but we have each lived our own unique lives, have our own histories, formed our own opinions and morals and believe our own thoughts. We are each on a different path or at different points along similar paths. What I believe is not necessarily what you believe. What I think is true and right and good you might possibly look at and wonder how I could ever think that.

Obviously, I hope not. I hope we have some shared foundation upon which we can build. I believe in truth. I believe in taking care of people. I believe in doing the best you can with the resources you enjoy.

I’ve learned a lot in the last couple of years and I hope that I continue to learn and grow even more. I feel that I have grown as a person, as a friend, and as a lover. I have navigated situations which I would have sworn up, down, and sideways that could never, would never, unequivocally should never, ever happen to me. No, definitely not to me. Life has a way of surprising one, though, doesn’t it?

I attempt to navigate this life and do the best I can for me while maintaining moral integrity. I try to help others and do what I can to make world a better place, if not for everybody, then at least for those with whom I come into contact. I know the world is awful. I know that there is so much pain and suffering and hurt and confusion out there. I wish I could wave my magic wand and make it all go away so each of us could achieve our own personal nirvana.

And at the end of the day, I guess that is part of my own nirvana – the absence of pain and suffering, hurt and confusion, angst and worry, not just for myself but for everyone – be it him, or her, or you.

Do as ye will, an it harm none.

You are loved.


Fire Woman

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The pain is agonizing. A tempest of fire which engulfs my paralyzed body. A dying breath which fills my straining lungs with the weight of water. The driving beat of a death march which pounds ceaselessly through my head.

My heart, a festering wound laid open to the elements, continues to beat cadence, uselessly, unwantingly. My mind, a maelstrom of disjointed thoughts, wrecks havoc with concentration. My soul, a rank oubliette of dark forces, fights for possession of my sanity.

Yet my sanity, my beliefs, my light will win. On this topsy-turvy day, when St. George is the incarnation of evil and the dragon a symbol, my symbol, of the belief in the fantastical, the dragon will emerge victorious. The dragon, with his belief in the precious and his hope and his impossible possibilities of things beyond normal ken, will save the princess, the symbol of light, love, and truth.

I will look to the skies, the heavens above, and I will rejoice for that which is, that which was, and that which may someday be. I will wallow in the knowledge that a year of the brightest, most pure, most incredible light, rested in my hands, in my heart, and in my soul.

I will honor the memory of that light from now until my dying breath and I will never, ever forget the beauty of the world seen through the filter of those magical fairy-lights. Instead of mourning that which may be lost, I will learn to accept that which is and rejoice in that which was. I will be profoundly ecstatic that such an otherworldly spark provided such an amazing year of fire and light and laughter.

I will learn to believe again, trust again, and hope again. I will find the spark compatible, one which burns fresh and bright. There will be a flame destined to join with mine to build not a funeral pyre but a healing blaze and a new beginning.

I will burn not in the ashes of this time. I will call the dragon “Phoenix” and I will be the princess of the tale. I will rise from the ashes, be a woman on fire, spreading arms above me in exultation, laughing in delight, rejoicing in the heat of a new life.

My dragon will be my hero and we will burn together. And from the ashes of defeat we will rise again to challenge the boundaries of reality and create our own mystical world, a world in which the princess is the bringer of light and the wellspring of love, a world which brings forth the fairy-lights for all to see.

We will remember. And the spark will never die.

Phoenix_love


The Physics of Love

I deserve to be treated well.  I should be cherished and loved, treated like a princess and given a tiara adorned with jewels, a measure of the esteem in which I am held.

What I have is a broken tiara, one made of paste; a cheap imitation of that which could be so precious.  The jeweled tiara signifies the fantasy of the child within.  A fantasy achingly wanted by the now-adult; tantalizingly possible yet always just out of reach.  It is the amusement park ride for which there is no time, the cookie jar out of reach on the top of the fridge, the glimpse of the illusive pixie hiding in the woods.

It is the wish for the fairy tale life where the heroine gets to live happily ever after, yet it is not a wish for fantasy without reality.  It is a dream that understands the insanity of wanting happiness always, the ability to recognize that without downs, there can be no ups.  It is a dream that comprehends the physics of life, the physics of love.

I want to feel the ebb and flow of emotions, those both good and bad.  Like the pull of the moon on the water, there is a certain amount of push and pull, up and down, give and take that is necessary, not only to ensure a balance of forces, but to provide that which is needed for life.  The gravity of the moon creates the tides.  The gravity of the earth causes water to run downhill.

physics of lifeWater meanders over the earth, in streams and creeks and rivers.  It cascades down the hills, traipsing its way over rock and earth, forging pathways through the landscape.  The forces of gravity require the water to travel ever downwards, seeking out the basins and valleys and dales, working toward the lowest common denominator.  In its quest for geographic parity, the flow traverses obstacles, sometimes creating rapids, eddies, and holes.  The flow continues, ever downwards, the water becoming aerated with its movements across the earth.

With crashing waves or tidal flow, the water – be it ocean, stream, river, or creek, is now aerated. It now contains the oxygen needed for life.  The movement of water, the ups and downs, is the catalyst for life.

Calm water is dead water.

A calm life is a dead life.  Without experiencing the ups and down of life, without encountering both positive and negative, a life is stagnant, stale, dead.  It is an impossibility to maintain life in the face of unending calm.  It is impossible to live a life of fantasy, where the only emotion, the only existence, is one of happiness.  The physics refute this premise.  I refute this.

Give me the fantasy to which I aspire, but give me the version in which I can believe.  The happily ever after that I desire, with all the inherent ups and downs necessary in order to sustain life.


A Pacifist in Battle

It has become a battle of wills and money and attitudes and winning.  As with any battle, in the end there will be no winners, only varying degrees of hurt.  There is no conceivable reason behind the change in status quo, there is only conjecture.  It is conjecture to which I do not wish to give credence, ideas with seeming validity, thoughts about the current whys and wherefores of this mess.  I attempt to merely deal with the concrete facts, the steps which need to be taken, the future outcome of any and all decisions which may be made at this juncture.  I examine and reexamine and then examine again my motives and endlessly search for resolutions which serve the greatest good.  I search for the best possibilities for the most important elements, those who happen to also be least able to affect their own outcomes.

I fight not for myself, but for those extraordinary beings which I have brought into this world.  I fight for their now, I fight for their tomorrows, I fight for their future knowledge of what is, what was, what may be and what could have been.ruinscape  I fight until my nails are torn, my fists are bloody and my soul is bruised and battered.  I fight with all the strength I can muster; mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially.  I fight with every resource I have in order to do what is right and good and worthy.  I believe in this quest, I believe in the veracity of my beliefs, I believe that I have a responsibility to do what is right regardless of the personal toll.

Generally speaking, I am simply a pacifist.  I would adore world peace, a green environment, and unlimited shared resources.  I would love for love to rule and for rainbows and sunshine and pixie dust to brighten all days.  I wish for the ability to always see the sparks glinting off the snow, hear the sounds of nature at peace, smell the dewy freshness of a mountain morning.

This is, of course, naught but a pipe dream.

I may wish to be a pacifist, but I am also a realist.  I see and acknowledge issues and problems.  I can accurately extrapolate trending attitudes and performances.  I concede that there is bad and wrong and evil in the world.  I may not like what I see, I may rail against happenings, but I refuse to deny reality for the benefit of my mental happiness.

I shudder at the necessity of having to take negative or punitive actions.  I abhor the feeling that I am causing ill to another.  But I vow to not let my distaste for these actions keep me from doing that which may bring about the security and well-being of others.  And if harmony is unattainable, perhaps someday those with no say, those with the least resources, those whom these actions will affect the most, may someday recognize the effort if not the outcome.  In this match where outcome most likely means more than intent, knowledge may be nothing but a hollow consolation prize.  Regardless, I will continue to do what should be done in order to achieve the best possible outcome for those who cannot fight for themselves.

I believe.  I give.  I cry.  I love.

What more can I do?

 


Death be not proud

I awoke in the middle of the night feeling like I was going to die.  No, I wasn’t in a great deal of pain, even considering the phantom tooth-ache I’ve been battling for days.

skull-heart-9356456It can be humbling to wake in the middle of the night thinking, “I’m going to die soon”.  Your brain kicks into overdrive and you’re immediately awake.  The darkness and cold notwithstanding, suddenly you’re making mental plans you thought you had years to put into motion.

On the heels of your sudden revelation, you think things you probably wouldn’t bother about in the light of day.

You wonder if your children know everything you want them to know.  Will they understand that you did your best or will they think you were selfish and self-serving?  Will they forgive you for the mistakes you invariably made or will they hold them close in their memories to the eventual exclusion of everything you got right?

You think about the things you’ve done and haven’t done and have always meant to do.  You begin to reorder your priorities so if you have any time, any time at all, you’ll be able to manage the affairs you deem most important.  You reevaluate everything and reestablish precedence.  You calculate what you want, what you believe, what you think you need.

You think about what you’re leaving behind and where it might come to rest.  Will your beloved collection go to someone who will appreciate it or to someone who will cherish it because they cherished you?  Will the remnants of your life be boxed and given to charity or will your family find places in their hearts and their homes for items that meant so much to you?

And then you think of love.  Will the joyous, precious love so fleetingly given you, reemerge post-mortem like a turtle reengaging the world once all threat of danger has passed?  Will the love you embraced so wonderingly, so passionately and so enthusiastically be buried with your remains or will the banked embers warm your lover’s heart?

It is easy to dismiss such thoughts with the sunlight streaming through the sky, the local cardinal beating cadence on the window, a hot cup of coffee at your elbow.  You think to yourself that you’re being overly dramatic, that such thoughts are crazy.  Yes, everyone is going to die … someday.  But in the glow of sunshine, the wondrous beauty of the world, thoughts of dying seem silly and pessimistic.

In the deep void of night, being awoken from slumber with the certainty that death is imminent does not seem ridiculous.  It surfaces as a secret knowledge your body is suddenly attempting to convey, a surreptitiously passed message from subconscious to conscious like notes sent between friends at school.  It is, quite literally, a wake-up call.  It is the knowledge that life is finite, that our days may end sooner than desired, that death is a sneaky thief stealing time from its rightful owners.

I woke from slumber with the knowledge that I was dying.  Whether that death comes today or tomorrow, it has revitalized my resolve to live like there would be no tomorrow, love like I have no ego, dance like I have no shame.

This minute, this hour, this day is mine.  I will revel in the knowledge that I can make each moment count and not squander the commodity of time that bastard thief will someday steal from my coffers.

I will live like there is no tomorrow.  I will dance, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow is but a whisper on the wind.

Sláinte                                        skulls-36


Ripple Effect

ripple3

I find that I am beyond willing to put the needs and the desires of others before my own.  I inherently feel that if everyone is willing to put others before themselves, then the greatest needs will be met with the greatest amount of cooperation and abilities.

Perhaps this, which I consider my biggest strength, is also my biggest weakness.

I am not a saint.  I have a breaking point in this thinking.  I can put others ahead of me for unknown amounts of time, perhaps indefinitely, but only if I feel the recipient of my helpfulness, my benevolence, my capitulation is aware of my sacrifice and ultimately has my best interests at heart.  That is not to say that I am unwilling to help or do for others without recompense or even recognition, but long term or extreme acts of putting someone before all else need to carry with it not only the belief that I am doing the correct thing, but also the knowledge that the person somehow understands that I am sacrificing my own good will in deference to theirs.

This sounds egotistical and I do not mean it in that regard.

I am not talking about making sacrifices for some unknown persona, or for some finite course of action which will greatly benefit an individual or group.  What I am speaking of is the give and take of a mature relationship, be it friendly, business, cooperative, or (most importantly) between lovers.

Most everyone has experienced the boss from hell.  There are people in positions of authority that invite nothing but irritation, discontent, and derision from their underlings.  These are the bosses that have nothing but negative comments, orders, and complaints for the people working for them.  It is an uneasy alliance that does nothing to promote loyalty.

On the other hand, it can be a pleasure to work for the person who recognizes effort and hard work.  An offer of kinds words in difficult situations or compliments for outstanding achievements create a mutual feeling of respect and common goals.  These bosses may be demanding yet appreciative and the people working for them tend to respond well to their governance.

Personal relationships flourish in the same way.

A relationship is not about keeping score or detailing sacrifices.  Life happens and as it does, there will be periods where one person is the recipient of the majority of the mutual efforts or to whose wishes are catered to or granted more often.  There are needs of the individual as well as needs of the couple.  The balance can be off for extended periods of time – time in which one half of the couple receives the lion’s share of the resources.

A couple’s resources are many.  Resources can be financial and emotional and they consist of two people’s sum of knowledge, physical strength, and endurance.  When one half of a couple falters, there is another to share their strength.  When one requires help, they have a partner in life.  The term ‘helpmeet’ came into usage in the 1600’s to refer to one’s partner, helpmate, or companion.  Generally speaking, a helpmeet, or helpmate is just that, one’s partner in life, someone there through love and commitment and willing to add their resources to another’s for the benefit of each other and the common good.

Sometimes the resources of one partner outshine the other.  Sometimes the person behind the scene is making the cogs run smoothly, shoring up the flagging post, and helping the world continue to turn.  We should not only do our damnedest to help our partners (as well as others) but we should remember to recognize and appreciate their sacrifices in their quest for our victories.  I truly believe in the little things in life.  Smiles and sweet nothings, spoken love and silly secrets, small surprises and spoken thanks.  It takes just a moment of our time to remember each other, a few minutes spent to show our love and appreciation.  A small acknowledgement can make even the largest efforts seem not only worthwhile but ripple4 can generate a happy glow.  Like a stone dropped into the water, a surprisingly little thing can ripple outward to create something beyond spectacular.

I invite you to tell me of your helpmate and share your story of their sacrifice.  It does not need to be a major sacrificial act or something out of the ordinary.  Sometimes, the little sacrifices we make for each other mean the most and generate the biggest smiles.

Peace ~♥~


Children are the Future

It’s really all about the children.

Children grow up and become adults who raise more children who grow up and become adults who raise more children who grow up and become adults, ad infinitum.

You do not lay a foundation for your house with cracked, broken pieces.  A foundation should be rock solid, stable and secure.  By raising a child, you are laying a foundation that will house generations to come.  Lay a solid, loving, stable foundation.  Lay a foundation that can withstand the storms, the earthquakes, and the inevitable heartaches.  Lay a foundation that may be counted on in times of uncertainty, a surface that holds up the happy, joyous, secure place you think of as ‘home’.

I understand that no one is perfect.  Everyone is flawed.  The cracks and oddities and uniqueness of ourselves make us who and what we are.  I understand how experiences shape our realities.

Experiences shape our realities.  They shaped the realities of who we are today and they will continue to shape the reality of who we remain or who we will become.  The same holds true for our children.  They will become what they are taught, they will take their todays and their yesterdays and their tomorrows and hold them in their minds and their worlds will be shaped – for good or for ill.

We must therefore learn about our own flaws and our own shortcomings.  We must learn to be that foundation for our children, a rock-solid, loving, permanent place.  We need to be the place where they can be assured of love and security and kindness.

We need to be more than what we are so our children and our children’s children can have what they deserve.  We do not need to be overly permissive.  We do not need to be swayed by pleadings.  We do not need to shower them with worldly goods.  We do not need to provide an overabundance of things.  Money does not nor will it ever provide more than a fleeting happiness.  Happiness is the secure place inside each of us, an anchor to weather us through the heaviest storms.

We should teach our children how to weather storms and remain happy and secure.  We ought to provide that stable foundation where they feel free to touch base and reassure themselves.  We do not need to solve their problems, but should strive to give them the tools to solve them themselves.  We should help them learn that they should create their own moral codes and remain true to themselves.

We need to teach them right from wrong, good from bad, acceptable from not.  We should teach them that certain things are unchangeable, such as the love and caring we can offer.  We need to accept them for who they are and teach them that they are lovable, even when they are not.  They will learn right from wrong, good from bad, wonderful from awful if we always temper our actions towards them with love.

We need to moderate our impatience and learn our limits and work to absorb the impact of our own failings.  We need to always, always remember that the things that we do, and say, and are will impact their existence and subsequently the existence of their offspring.

Children are taught to be what they become.  They are not inherently bad or mean or racist or evil.

There are no bad children.  Impact each child you have or know or fleetingly contact in a manner befitting the best of what you are or what you could be.  Do what you can, when you can, for whomever you can.  Let them see the best of what they are, or what they can be, from your eyes.

The world, the future, and everything – it really is all about the children.

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