Parenting is Like Throwing Penny’s in a Wishing Well

Credit: vastateparksstaff on Flickr

Yesterday, as my oldest son and I were on our way to Los Angeles we drove past Forest Lawn Memorial Park. It had been a few years since I had driven past it and I had forgotten how beautiful it was. So I pointed it out for him to see.
And then he asked me what it was.
And I was left there with the decision of what to say. I mean, how do you explain a cemetery to a little kid after all?  I decided to go in for the kill.

“When people die, their souls go to Heaven to be with God and their bodies stay here with us. Some people like to bury their bodies in the ground at a place like that so that we who are left here on Earth have a place to visit them. But they’re not really there, only their bodies are because their souls are with God”.

I patted myself on the back. I thought I did pretty good explaining souls and death and cemeteries and stuff to a 5 year old.  And then he said:
“I like trees!”

And I realized at that moment that parenting is a lot like throwing pennies in a wishing well. You can’t see where the penny went but you did hear that hollow thud when it hit the water.
Here I was giving him gems of gold, pure parenting advice gold and all he had to say was that he liked trees.

All I can do is have faith that the penny I threw is in there somewhere.

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If a celebrity dies in the forest and no one hears it, did they really die?


Credit: Brian Richardson on Flickr

What is it with the public’s fascination with celebrities? Why do we all care so much about these people? What makes a celebrity “celebrity”? An inordinate amount of attention that’s what. We see them as special because they’re seen. Seen by many. But that doesn’t make them special. That doesn’t make them good people. They’re just famous for being good at something. Like singing or pretending…er I mean acting. Sometimes, they’re famous just for being famous. What the fizzle is Kim Kardashian famous for again? A sex tape? Well, you know what? I’m really good at scrubbing toilets and I bet that if I found the right agent and the right publicist, I could become a toilet scrubber extraordinaire celebrity. I’d scrub toilets all the way to the bank.

So in case you haven’t heard, Whitney Houston passed away. In case you didn’t know, she was a singer. A good one mind you, but she sang. Sure, maybe by proxy she helped people by momentarily making them feel better. She probably brightened a lot of peoples days with her music. Perhaps she was a good person that helped her community. But she didn’t save lives like doctors do, she didn’t sacrafice her safety like Police men and women do every day, she didn’t teach our children like teachers do, she was not a hero like the men and women in our armed forces. She just sang pretty.
Every news channel, every entertainment special is running programming on the life and death of Whitney Houston. Fans are weeping and gathering and mourning the loss of someone they didn’t even know.
I don’t find this fair to the real hero’s that pass away every day. The people that really make a difference and really touch peoples lives. When they pass, it’s just another Tuesday. But when a celebrity passes, hold the crackers because it’s a big deal.