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Showing posts from May, 2016

The Third Way of Family: Love & Embrace

There is a scene in the show Mad Men that captured perfectly just one of the tidal shifts that happened in the 1960's.  The episode itself revolved around an ad the executives were trying to craft for Burger Chef, a now defunct food-chain that was based out of Indianapolis and that my mom actually worked for at one point.  The big whigs at Burger Chef knew that they were up against tough odds.  They had to spin the virtues of eating out without stepping on the still sacred cow of the American family dinner.  You know:  dad comes home from work to an immaculately clean kitchen with two well-behaving children already sitting at the table and the mom pleasantly pulling out a savory dish from the oven.  

The ad team just can't get it.  They're throwing ideas at the big board left and right, but nothing is sticking.  But, then, in a stroke of midnight brilliance, it hits one of them.  The Burger Chef dining room is the new American family table, or what the American family table…

More "C" Words & Less "S" Words

As we sit on the eve of the presidential primary for our state, I'm thinking of an old mason jar that sits near our family dining table.  I'm thinking as well of a conversation I heard last night featuring former senator Dick Lugar and former congressman Lee Hamilton.  And the lesson I've drawn from both the mason jar in our home and the radio interview I heard last night is this:  we're at a crucial time when we need more focus on the "c" words and less focus on the "s" words.  Let me explain.

That mason jar in our home is what we affectionately refer to as the "Stop-it jar."  About two years ago, our two children began an escalation of (verbal) arms.  Most of the time, they were great around each other, but given insufficient amounts of food or sleep or toys to share, vitriolic words were soon being lobbed between them.  Their favorite weapon of choice soon became, "stop it!" - a harsh decree meant to both belittle one another …