Sunday, June 30, 2013


I drank my coffee out on the porch this morning and watched the dawn of a beautiful day. Here in the northwest, getting up before dawn means being awake around 4am - which is even a little early for me.

I woke up earlier than usual because we had a guest on the porch needing a place to crash - a good friend of my daughter's who didn't want to go home due to a particular volatile presence there. We have a spare bed - no problem.

I made a cup of coffee and proceeded out to the porch.
And thought about how difficult it is to watch kids deal with the dysfunctional legacy of their parents. It's hard to see the way that children end up having to carry the burden of abusive behavior.

I want to go strangle someone.

I'm angry because I can see the damage being done to this kid's self esteem - this bright, beautiful human being who just wants a chance to make his own way in the world.

I know that I've passed on pieces of legacy to my own kids - good and bad. We can't help carrying around our own odd way of dealing with the world and, whether we like it or not, those ways impact the people closest to us - like the children who grow up immersed in that particular brand of "normal".

And children are extremely good at absorbing the messages we inadvertently send.

So I think about this as I sit ensconced on the porch.  I think about the complicated, layered process called growing up and all the messages we pile on our children that they spend a lifetime trying untangle. Its inevitable - this is living. This is the moment of defining one's self as separate from the stories that we've been fed - of knowing who we are instead of what other people think about us. How do we help young people do this?

It is the dawn of a new day - the day that marks the beginning of the rest of my life.
The day invites us to bring ourselves more fully into the act of living - and accepting that we each have journeys ahead while carrying burdens that are ours alone.

And if I can help ease that burden for another human being by providing a spare bed - good.
Sleep well.

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