Home Especially Sweet Home

by | Nov 30, 2023 | Blog

Dear Boundless Families:

I have spent an unusual amount of time teaching, hanging out and playing ping pong with your kids. It being November, they are the best game in town. 

About a week ago, they got into the habit of popping by the old folks home – where I work – just to shoot the breeze before or after classes. We schmooze about life in the valley. We gossip about school. Sometimes they question their own dreams. “Is culinary school really the right thing for me?” That kind of thing. 

But mostly, they come for the chocolate dispensary that I seem to be running right now. It has devolved into that. And it’s my own damn fault.

Through some kind of comedic deja vu, the dispensary has come full circle from my childhood. I refer you to the attached photo.

My mom, long gone now, used to hide extra special treats like licorice and chocolate kisses in the candy jar you see before you. She would conceal this canister of delight in the most obscure places, like behind the liquor cabinet which was already way beyond the territory of our hunting grounds. 

Her problem was that my brother and I would find the cache no matter how inspirational she could be. The more she concealed, the more the appeal.

Cue Liam into the story. And Fantasia. And Luke. Even Jack gave up his sugar fast for the allure of one mere Werther’s candy.

Now I just refill the jar every day. As I fill it at 7:30 am, like the sands in an hourglass, the jar is depleted by 5:00pm. I have resigned myself to this. Just like my mama.

In other words, this place feels like home.

We are in the midst of a rare hiccup-free week. Like weather, a balanced system is hard to predict. But we have it now.

Every time you step into the ranch during downtime, there are kids playing chess, sewing clothes, playing ping pong, bantering over silly board games. Three are in the kitchen reliably preparing dinner. It’s so cozy.

This gorgeous atmosphere became apparent when I spent Friday night with the gang. We spent two hours talking about love.

I figure with all the bullshit going on in the world, it’s best to fall back on John Lenon’s refrain that love is all we need. Ya, I know, it’s sappy as hell. But I am starting to take comfort in the cliche, for I feel that’s pretty much all we teensy weensy humans at Boundless people have to give. 

I proposed to them that love is an antidote to despair. I borrowed the music and poetry of Jimi Hendrix, Melissa Ethridge, Redbone and a few others to drive home the point.

We explored five kids of love that people encounter in their lives.

1) Lightning love

2) Toxic love

3) Healing love

4) Pair bond love

5) Friendship love

Pretty crude, I realize. But the kids resonated. When asked what kind of love, or combination thereof, that they identified most with and wanted to have in their life story, their answers were remarkably clear and visionary. And gut-splittingly funny.

At night’s end, it felt like I had hung out with all of them in my 1970’s basement listening to albums.

Now that’s home.

Each and every one of your teens are nailing it here, in their own special ways, each at their own pace. They make me laugh. Their growth is awesome to witness.

Thank you all for having your kids join our home, away from all the madness.



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Steven Gottlieb
Steven Gottlieb