Sunday, July 29, 2012


I was fortunate to have been raised around the influence of great people. People who pioneered the way for women in education. People who spent their entire lives in the pursuit of trying to help others in various ways. People who said things like, "I don't know what do you think." all the time in response to my inquiries about subjects they knew everything about.

These people are my grandparents and great grandparents. It saddens me often that our life is not conducive to having my children immersed in their grandparents and great grandparents. We are blessed with other examples, and for that I am grateful, but it's just not quite the same for me.

There are few true heroes for our children today. I could cite scads of examples of "the greatest", most all of them have fallen from the pedestals upon which they are placed by media. Most all of them fall in devastating ways and we are left trying to answer questions like, "What did he do?" "What does that even mean?" "Why did he do that?". It's not just males either.

As a mother I am careful who I hold up for my children to emulate. I am careful to involve them first in their own life and not to encourage them to seek to build their lives on the latest YouTube star, teen sensation, child prodigy, or sports star, etc..

The instinct seems to be to "help" our children achieve success. Success has been drastically redefined by the media.

I know a guy. A guy who, served his country in war, worked hard at the same job and retired, has been married to the same woman forever (okay not forever. I confess to not knowing the actual number), has a modest house, with enough. This man visited me often as a child and made me feel that I was important just because I swam in a pool, rode my bike, got McDonald's cheeseburgers with him, and sometimes, for a special treat, got to sleep in the "chair bed" at the hotel with them. That man is my grandpa. He's pretty great and I'd say he led a very successful and happy life. He's not famous, but he's more of a hero than most I know that are touted as such. I'll take grandpa any old day, and I am serving up regular doses of his wisdom and example to my children. I love all my grandparents of course, but my heart is with my grandpa for this post, love you gramps :)

Who do our children know, and what do they know about themselves as a result? How do our children define success?

From the mouth of a wise old soul, "I don't care how much money I have. Things are not important. I want to be a garbage man so I can drive a cool truck, use my muscles to get rid of trash, and have lots of time for catching frogs." This wise old soul is 11. Garbage man, really? Who cares as long as you have plenty of time for catching frogs.

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