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Early Summer 2013 -- Being Prepared

Dear Friends

Being prepared is very important to me. I have an earthquake kit in my car, I schedule dental check-ups before I even receive a reminder, and if I say I'm bringing the potato salad for 4th of July, you can count on it even if I just broke my right arm. All this madness -- I mean sense of responsibility -- goes back to a Defining Moment in middle school. How I didn't notice I was the only 7th grader not in the school gym that day is beyond me, but what I do remember is one of my friends racing down the hall toward me, shouting, "Jaaaanet, you’re ON!" While I didn't have a clue what she was talking about, I quickly learned there was a 7th grade school assembly and all the candidates for the Student Body were giving their prepared speeches. Uh oh. I was running for Class Treasurer, and I was now walking up to a podium to tell my fellow classmates why I was THE girl for the job? "What exactly does the Class Treasurer do?" I wondered as I approached the podium. (Truth be told, I only ran for treasurer because I thought making posters that said "Voting for Janet Make$ Cent$" would be oh so clever.) While I doubt that any of my classmates even remember this debacle, it changed my life -- in a good way. NEVER did I want to feel so unprepared again, and so I saw to it that I wasn't. Ever.

Why I bring all this up is because I got a call from a friend last night asking me if I had a magic kit. Her third grade son informed her that he was auditioning for the school variety show the next day, and his talent was to perform magic. He didn't know any tricks, but he figured he'd learn some with a magic kit he'd gotten for Christmas but hadn't opened yet. It was the night before the audition, and he discovered the kit was broken and it was too late to buy another one. Talk about a recipe for a Defining Moment. Or not.

Now I know there's a world of developmental difference between a 3rd grader and a 7th grader, but at what point do we begin teaching our children the value in "owning" what's theirs. Whose audition is it if Mom drops everything to move heaven, earth, and Facebook to locate a magic kit at a time she'd normally be tucking her son into bed?

My heart goes out to her. As parents, we're so hard-wired to help our children, whatever the cost, but that's the kicker -- knowing when we're helping and when we're really not (at least not in the long run). How do we know if allowing them to experience natural consequences will serve them down the road or scar them?! The answer probably varies as much as our children do, yet I still look back at the Defining Moments in my life and am grateful for each one. As a parent myself, I hope I'll have the courage to allow my daughter to experience her own such moments.

P.S. I was eventually voted Class Treasurer -- in 8th Grade.




Other Issues:
From our archives -- Saddle Up

From our archives -- Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Early Summer 2014 -- Embracing our Dormant Times

From our archives -- Taking Time to Listen

Late Spring 2014 -- Seeing More Clearly

Spring 2014 -- Savor What Makes Your Heart Sing

Early Spring 2014 -- The Power of Quotes

Holiday 2013 -- Taking the Time to Listen

Holiday 2013 -- Open our Hearts to the Good Around Us

Fall 2013 -- How to Cope in Tough Times

Late Summer 2013 - The Priceless Gift of Friendship

Midsummer 2013 -- My Luck is Pretty Good Luck

Early Summer 2013 -- Slow Down Enough to Smile

Late Spring 2013 -- Recognizing Gifts

Spring 2013 -- Doing the Best We Can

Early Spring 2013 -- Know Where You're Going

Holiday 2012 -- Our Power to Adapt

Fall 2012 -- Gratitude for What We Have

Early Fall 2012 -- See the Beauty in Front of Us

Late Summer 2012 -- Modify So It Works for You

Summer 2012 -- Finding Balance

Early Summer 2012 -- Go Ahead and Take that Risk!

Late Spring 2012 - Trusting Your Gut

Spring 2012 - Living Life to the Fullest

Early Spring 2012 - New Year, No Excuses

Winter 2011 - A Thoughtful Tip

Holiday 2011 - How Did I Get Here?

Fall 2011 - Giving Thanks for What We Already Have

Late Summer 2011 - Taking Ourselves Off Automatic

Midsummer 2011 - Friends Through Thick and Thin

Early Summer 2011 - The Power of Nice

Late Spring 2011 - The Gifts of Spring

Spring 2011 - Worst Case Scenario

Early Spring 2011 - Break Away From the Herd

Winter 2010 - Lessons From Feral Kitty

Holiday 2010 - The Art of Imperfection

Fall 2010 - When the Student is Ready...

Late Summer 2010 - Saddle Up

Midsummer 2010 - Hurry Up and Wait

Early Summer 2010 - Don't Just Stand There. Do Something!

Late Spring 2010 - Gifts From My Mother

Spring 2010 - Taking That First Step

Early Spring 2010 - I Think it's Time

Winter 2009 - Choose Love, Not Fear

Holiday 2009 - Paying it Forward

Fall 2009 - You're Not Alone

Late Summer 2009 - "Searching" for Peace

Midsummer 2009

Early Summer 2009

Late Spring 2009

Spring 2009

Early Spring 2009

Winter 2008

Holiday 2008

Fall 2008

Late Summer 2008

Midsummer 2008

Early Summer 2008

Late Spring 2008

Spring 2008

Early Spring 2008

Winter 2007

Holiday 2007

Fall 2007

Late Summer 2007

Midsummer 2007

Early Summer 2007

Late Spring 2007

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Holiday 2006

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