Good Stuff in April 2023
A roundup of things that caught my eye, ear and/or heart
I’ve been thinking about legacy: what one generation passes to the next, individually and collectively.
My road trip with Mom kicked this train of thought into high gear. More than ever, I was cognizant of myself as daughter, mother, and… self. Childhood memories merged with thoughts of parenting my daughter, which swirled into a poignant awareness of the care my mother now needs from me…
It was like seeing myself refracted through a prism. How’s that for a mindblower?
As I revisited the links I set aside to share with you, it became clear that generational handoff has been on my mind for a while.
I’m interested to hear what you think, especially as many of you are in the swirl of your own big transitions. (I’ve been beaming supportive vibes to those of you in the approach to high school graduation.)
And now, for some good stuff. — ❤️ Asha
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Bonnie Tsui on finding role models in her gym locker room
There’s so much in this lovely piece about acceptance, aging, connection, and the magnificent shabbiness of life in a human body. I long for this kind of community. I’ll leave you with the last line — let it beckon you into Bonnie’s locker room.
Their laughs explode like a bouquet of fireworks, with a sharp and knowing joy.
Read: I’m Not 80 Yet but Among These 80 Year-Olds is Where I Want to Be in the New York Times (gift link)
Michael Estrin on “parental apology”
I’m loving's very funny Substack newsletter. But as he warns his readers, this essay isn’t funny. It begins with a conversation with his mother after the Covenant School shooting in Nashville, in which three nine year-old children, the school custodian, a substitute teacher and the Head of School were murdered. Michael ponders our failed leadership, what we owe our children, Everything Everywhere All At Once, and more.
There’s a fine line between staying informed and going off the deep end. If you can manage to stay on the right side of that line—never easy—you remain open to deeper conversations, even when—and maybe especially when—talking feels like it won’t accomplish anything. Those kinds conversations matter, not because any single conversation changes the world, but because history has far too many examples of societies where countless individuals failed to bear witness to the horrors their society perpetrated.
This father has no answers, but still gives us a compassionate space to sit with the questions and each other. I found this deeply comforting.
Read: Sorry we f*cked up, kid in
Liz Gumbinner on the balance between staying informed and staying sane
A good follow-up to Michael’s essay.wonders how she can read news, take action, and maintain her sanity. Can one do it? How?
The big question on everyone’s mind seems to be, how do I want to spend my time, and going even deeper than that: What do we want our lives to look like?
Devorah Heitner on restrictive social media laws
Speaking of taking action…is the author of Screenwise: Helping Kids Survive and Thrive in Their Digital World. In 2017, she and I discussed raising “tech-positive kids” on Edit Your Life, the podcast I co-hosted with Christine Koh from 2015-2021. When I think about the vast cultural and political shift from then till now, my head spins.
This link is her clear-headed response to restrictive social media laws making their way through state legislatures across the country. The “save the children” panic doesn’t line up with what kids actually need to be safe.
The best way to keep kids safe is to make sure they know they can turn to people they trust when they need to and want to. Not by force or spying.
I urge you to read this and follow up with a call to your representative. While you’re at it, ask them to support gun safety laws.
Devorah’s next book, Growing Up in Public: Coming of Age in a Digital World, is available for preorder and comes out in September.
Another new (good!) book for parents of adults
Dr. Laurence Steinberg has written a book just for us. Okay, not us specifically but c’mon! Read that title!
When Dr. Lisa Damour (one of my +++ favorites) vouched for this book, I was sold.
I don’t often praise books in a full-throated way…but this book is perfect.
I’ll post a review after I read it.
Read: You and Your Adult Child: How to Grow Together in Challenging Times by Dr. Laurence Steinberg
🎧 Listen: How do I parent a young adult (and deal with my own parents)? Dr. Steinberg on the Ask Lisa podcast
Let’s end on wildflowers 🌼
Here’s a video I took of the wildflower superbloom in Carrizo Plain National Monument in central California. I still can’t believe Mom and I got to see it.
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