Bullet Ants, Pickle Ball and Kitty Pleasures

by | Mar 9, 2024 | Blog

Dear Boundless Families:

I’ve been hanging out with your lovelies the past few days. We watch the snow melt. Eat chocolate. Gossip about things. Play chess. I try to muster a ping pong game from time to time, but that rascal Pascal, one of their leaders, has opened up the pickle ball court. Pascal the Pied Pickle Piper has wooed them away from my ping pong dominion.

It’s early March, but it feels like Miami. A guilty pleasure really. It is wrong to be so warm. But, oh my, it feels good. Kids are sunning themselves on the porch between classes, like crocodiles warming their bloodstreams in the sun, readying themselves to devour the next item on the curriculum.

I ran a Stevening two nights ago – about rites of passage. We looked at different cultures, the most striking being an Amazonian tribe that uses bullet ants to bite their way into the hands of young people who dare to belong. So many of these rites involve pain.

Naturally, we likened the transition from your kids’ homes to the Valley as a rite of passage in itself – a ritual that also involves pain. Displacement. Alienation. It ain’t easy.

But now, a few weeks later, all I see are kids connected. Rosy cheeked. Slimmer. More buff. More expressive. Less fazed by chores and other obligations. Taking the demands of their classes in stride.

The group committed to embark on another mini-rite-of passage – engaging in acts of extraordinary kindness. One by one, they publicly declared their intentions. Quite a few chose to be part of Mike’s Minions. Mike is our maintenance dude. That poor soul is now inundated with teenagers eager to help him and he doesn’t know what the heck to do with all this energy.

No good deed goes unpunished. That cruel maxim is quite comical to observe when Mike declared to me this morning, “Don’t I have enough kids already?”

The biggest source of gossip was the cat I recently encountered on a nature hike, 4 kms deep into nowhere. She jumped me. Started climbing my leg. I tried to leave it be, but she would have none of that. While I proclaim to be a teen whisperer, I am no cat whisperer. Nevertheless, I “felt” the cat saying to me, “Please don’t leave me!”  

That’s when I noticed she was missing a piece of her thigh. I reckon a coyote took a chunk. So I hoisted her wriggling and resilient body onto my shoulders, and hiked back with this dehydrated fluffball. Perhaps this was my extraordinary act of kindness.

I told the kids about this, showed a few pictures, and within a few seconds, I had three offers to take the kitty home. Which means one of you just might have a new kitty in your lives. This is a threat. My wife Lisa wants it, but please, let me foist the cat on one of you! Not so kind now, am I.

It’s gorgeous and amazing up here. I hope you all enjoyed your phone calls recently. The session is flying by.

Blessings to you all.


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Steven Gottlieb
Steven Gottlieb