Note from Scott: August/September issue
“Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore benefit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.” –Lao Tzu
Even though I’m no Taoist, this idea from Lao Tzu has resonated with me ever since I became a father.
When we had our first child, Elise, I wrote a poem to her when she was just several weeks old, and I began to see how this idea of Taoism rings true. If we are all like blocks of clay at the beginning of life, we can shape ourselves or be shaped into some form along the way – there are so many possibilities! As we grow older, we lose the potential of what we could become, but we gain something more specific and useful.
I’ve been thinking about changes lately since my daughter is now 5, about ready to enter Kindergarten, and I have to let go of this first phase of our lives together. My son, Liam, now 3, is blooming handsomely, and I suspect we will spend the next couple of years lingering with this moment together, in this phase.
The change from summer to fall is not always so subtle. One day, probably in early or mid-September, I will walk outside and suddenly detect the shift: a not-so-secret stir in the air, crackling with crisp energy, a scent of brilliant ripening, and a burst of color in nature.
Change sneaks up on us. My kids took swimming lessons for the first time this summer, and in a way this was another way of letting go — to let them grow beyond what previously only I could do for them.
We’re going to hold on to the rest of summer. We’ll celebrate in Disneyland for the first time together (Shh! It’s still a secret to the kids.) Then, we will move on, to embrace the clarion call of fall and await new, exciting possibilities.
As you also celebrate new things, we provide some resources and events for you to capture the rest of summer. We’ve also included some back-to-school necessities, Dr. Pommer’s “Second Opinion” and Lacy Heinz’s take on helping kids become individuals. One feature you shouldn’t miss is our feature on a subject that has a lot of parents talking these days: bullying.
As always, please send questions, comments, or suggestions to email@example.com, and be sure to friend us on Facebook. Until next issue, enjoy the dog days of summer … and the crisp welcome of fall.
Filed under Dad's Pad, From the Mag