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Heading into the Thanksgiving Holiday there is a lot that I am thankful for.

IMG_6631My husband, Labor and Constitutional Historian, has explained to me that the holiday has origins completely different from it’s current form and celebration. It makes me wonder how many other holidays are like that? Holidays that were created to distract or divert people rather than honor a particular event to be proud of. Still, I use it as a time to be thankful. I try to do that throughout the year, but setting aside a particular day for it is good. Thankful for my family, especially thankful for them this year. With Sam away at College, and Sophie entering High School, family looks different and feels different now. Maybe with less physical proximity it intensifies the importance, like a fine wine that is stored and the tastes get stronger and more powerful the longer you don’t have it. Thankful for my one true love, my husband. Nothing that really matters to me would be possible without him.

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I was pregnant with my son, 19 years ago, and I woke up in a panic. Nearly screaming out in the night and grabbing my husband.

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Martin Niemueller was a Pastor in Germany who was initially a Nazi supporter.  He was later imprisoned and died fighting to oppose the Nazi regime.

“What is it?” he asked confused. I stammered, “There are people who hate him (we knew at this point that it was a boy), even before he is born they hate him just because he’s Jewish.” The sense of helplessness, the fear, what would I do or what could I do to protect him? Hate will always be there, people will find a way to use someone who is an “other” to pin their anger and fear on. I can’t stop them from hating my family, my son and daughter. I can’t control their fear and hatred. I can control myself, and I will never let them use that fear and hate against me, the people I love or others. What happened in Pittsburgh this weekend is the embodiment of that nightmare I had 19 years ago. It is made possible in large part by the raging, unchecked ethos of hatred perpetrated by our current GOP Administration. I beg those who have the power, vote on November 6th to restore an order where there is some accountability and check on this kind of untamed violence and disregard for human dignity and life.

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Amazing photo by Tara Morrison, love her work as always.

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It’s the end of September and so much has happened in just a month that it feels like years have passed. Sophie is settling into High School and crushing it, continuing to do great on the Cross Country team. Sam is making his way and making friends at school, digging deep in studies and also navigating a higher level of competition for College Cross Country. Andrew was up at the Cabin recently, more updates and making it ready for winter retreats. I’m doing everything I do. Volunteer, serve in local government, all that behind the scenes jazz.

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People might think that if you are a child and family counselor that you tell other people what to do with their children for a living. I hope I don’t do that!

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I really don’t like it when people do it to me, and I try not to do it with the families I work with.  People have asked me if I am sad to see Sam off to college, as if that’s the way it should feel. I’m not sad, I’m really happy. In fact my son joked the other day “You’re almost too happy to see me go.” The hard work for me is over, his hard work is beginning. I seriously can’t bring myself around to being sad. Our relationship is changing, it’s supposed to. It’s not easy, we fight. I fight with the people I’m close to, doesn’t everybody? I will miss his physical proximity like heck, but I’m really looking forward to an adult relationship with my son. I loved the time with him as a kid, as a young adult it was different but also cool, as an adult I think I will continue to be impressed. Often I don’t agree with him , he can be a royal pain, but I’m really looking forward to his transition to college and the next phase of our relationship.