The essay titles are at the beginning of each section, my comments are in italics. I hope this is easy enough to read!
High Tide in Tucson:
Experiences of mother and daughter transcend space and time.
Pg 1 references her daughter “I had spent a seek in the Bahamas, and while I was there, wishing my daughter could see those sparking blue bays and sandy coves, I did exactly what she would have done: I collected shells.” brings her daughter’s experience directly into her own despite distance.
Pg 6 “I open my eyes on every new day expecting that a creek will run through my backyard under broad-leafed maples, and that my mother will be whistling in the kitchen.” brings her own childhood experience into the present despite time.
How Mr. Dewey Decimal Saved My Life:
She discusses parenting broadly in this chapter, while still relating it all back to her older adolescent experience in high school.
Page 50: “Our protectiveness is a deeply loving and deeply misguided effort to keep our kids inside the bounds of what we know is safe and right….unless I can invoke amnesia to blot out my own past, I have to see it’s impossible to keep her inside the world I came up in. That world rolls on, and you can’t step in the same river twice.” I was especially drawn to her discussion of the paradox we face as parents trying to keep our children safe while recalling how we were raised. Often I find myself thinking I must have been remarkably lucky to have survived my childhood, but then, so must have been all of my friends, they survived too!
Pg 52: “We expect our kids to salvage a damaged earth, but in deference to the religious beliefs of a handful, we allow an entire generation of future scientists to germinate and grow in a vacuum.” My mom doesn’t understand why I explain everything to my son and why I don’t often say “because I said so.” If I require my son to live within my absolute authority, I will have let out the important lesson of how to think critically!
Civil Disobedience at Breakfast:
Page 87 “A land mine exploded in the back of my conscience. My child was becoming gall I’d ever wanted.”
Page 88 “There had been a time when I’d reduced my own personal code to a button on my blue-jeans jacket that advised: QUESTION AUTHORITY. A few decades later, the motto of my youth blazed resplendent on my breakfast table, the color of Florida sunshine.”
Page 89 “We are to cultivate carefully the fragile stem of self esteem. We are to consider a thing called “tough love,” which combines militarist affection with house arrest, as remedy for adolescent misbehavior.”
Page 90 “I say, Good luck, it sounds like we’ll have men and women with the mental experience of toddlers running domestic and foreign policy.”
Page 90 “The most assiduous task of parenting is to divine the difference between boundaries and bondage. In every case, bondage is quicker. Boundaries, however carefully explained, can be reinterpreted creatively time and again.”
Every piece of this essay spoke to me. She took her adolescent experience, brought it forward into her parenting style, and then applies it to the world and greater population in general. How incredibly wonderful!