Complementary

To hear this term is to presume something positive. It implies that things fit with one another, get along, are nice.

Yet in the field of psychology, complementary behavior may not always be as helpful as it sounds.  It means you respond back to someone in the same way they did to you.  For example, if someone yells at you, you yell at them.

By comparison, non-complementary behavior is responding to someone in a different way from which they acted towards you. …


Daddy

It is my favorite word.  To hear anyone of my three daughters call me “Daddy” is a delight, even when it is to register a complaint or voice frustration.  There is an innate tenderness to the term that I never want to go away.  I have never heard my daughters call me dad or father, although I’m guessing they use those terms whenever referring to me with their friends or teachers.   …


mom

Yesterday was a mother’s day unlike any other. Under normal circumstances this would be a day where mothers would either be lavished with gifts, taken out to dinner, or maybe just given a break.

No doubt children and families did their best to try and cobble something together along those lines despite our current limitations. 

To repeat a well-worn cliche, now more than ever, mom’s deserve the recognition that too often gets taken for granted.…


Cats & Dogs: Two stories about kids and culture

As I walked my dog on a blistery January morning, I noticed that every block or two, bundled up children were being dutifully escorted to their street corner. Waiting for the bus to take them to elementary school.

It would be impossible to know the exact political orientation of the parents and grandparents who had risen early and braved the cold that morning.  But given that particular Pennsylvania town’s voting history, one might surmise that it was divided politically. …


“Lift me up!”

I was on a roll.  After weeks of having task after task pile up and doing my best to just stay above water, I was now laying waste to a to do list and email box that had seemed hopelessly out of control.
 
I felt like a castaway who was adrift at sea for weeks but could finally see paradise on the horizon.
 
Just then, my eleven-year-old daughter came bounding into my room demanding playfully “Lift me up!”…


What kind of ancestor do you want to be?

This powerful question comes from Rom Mokak,  Australia’s first Indigenous Policy Evaluation Commissioner.  It is a question that the Yawuru people ask when a major decision is to be made for their community.

When I first heard this question, it made me think of what kind of steward I am for not just my children’s future but for their children and their children and so on. I…


Everything you need, some of what you want

This was how a recent contestant on The Voice described her childhood.  She said it with a smile and followed a profile of her journey to The Voice stage.  It described being raised by a single mom in a situation that was poor in material goods but rich in emotional ones. Second hand stores but first-rate parenting.

This phrase that summarized her experience,  “She gave us everything we needed and some of what we wanted,” resonated with me on several levels.


What to do?

This week I watched a two-minute video and read a ten-page magazine article that hit me like a punch to the gut and left me staggering and wondering, “What to do?”
 
The video was of the sixteen-year-old environmentalist, Greta Thunberg, who had sailed from Sweden to address the United Nations.  Her provocative and passionate speech left me feeling shamed and helpless.  Watch for yourself.  How do her words make you feel?…


The Drive

It was my first experience driving on the left side of the road.  A task made more challenging by the vehicle Enterprise had given us. Their self-proclaimed party van could seat eight comfortably and still have room enough for four suitcases and five backpacks.
 
The roads seemed incapable of holding both this van and the oncoming traffic – which apparently consisted exclusively of campers, busses and eighteen wheel trucks 
 
They say that the drive from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye is majestic but I couldn’t tell you, as my eyes were exclusively focused on the road five feet in front of me every minute for four hours. …


Want to feel better about your day?

Within one 24 hour period last week:

  • Our dishwasher broke
  • Someone illegally charged my American Express card twice
  • Our laundry room flooded as a result of a major HVAC leak
  • I erroneously received a bill from the state government for $15,000
  • Our laundry room flooded a second time after the technician’s first “repair” didn’t work
  • My wife backed our car into a steel pole rushing to get our child to camp after our carpool partner canceled at the last minute.