Rachel S. Heslin
Thoughts, insights, and mindless blather

Evolution as a spectator sport
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I love kids. I really do. I love listening to them play and watching them trying to figure out how this world works -- something that still eludes most of us.

I love the "flowers" currently lining the halls at school: the first graders took home big paper cut-outs of daisies and tulips and decorated them with dried beans and noodles and glitter and coffee filters and anything else they found lying around. (Has anyone ever actually eaten wagon-wheel pasta?)

I love the honesty and tactlessness. When they're hurting, it breaks my heart. I told my boss that I have a pretty good idea how to raise a child: love, encouragement, and a consistent system of discipline that helps them develop the skills they need to thrive.

And yet, since where I work provides counseling services to these kids, I've come to realize that I don't know how to "fix" one whose mother is an alcoholic and whose father tells him that he should never have been born. I just don't know how, and it is difficult for me to even comprehend how someone could do this to their own child.

But on some level, I do understand. Except for those who have something biochemically wrong with them, every abuser was abused him or herself as a child. If I have no worth, then I must make you even less. And so the cycle continues.

I didn't mean for this entry to take such a dark turn. We're losing one of our sweetest family advisors this week -- her husband, who has been running the local social services agency, got a wonderful job out of state, and it will be a good move for her and her family. But we'll miss her, and it will be different here.

In an attempt to leave on a slightly more hopeful note, I found a copy of the Riddlemaster trilogy at a used book store and donated it to the school library. I told the teacher whose class I'd read the excerpt to that I'd done so, and she said that there were several who would be very excited to be able to read it.

It's not much, but I hope it helps.

Keys tuned: Y'know, I don't think it's worth keeping track of anymore. I can play, and that's what's important. There are a few more I'll probably do when I get songs that need them, and I'll do some touch ups when I find my chromatic tuner, but all in all, it's good to go.


Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much of life. So aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.
- Henry David Thoreau

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