Dear Boundless Families:
I have been spending joyful time with your kids recently. Ping Pong hangouts. Warming bones beside the fire sessions. They run to me like excited toddlers, strutting their baking, painting, writing, chess games and challenges keeping the ice rink frozen.
Some confide tidbits about their struggles. L flashed her valley smile to me yesterday and declared a victory regarding her sleep.
“I slept right through. First time in forever. Yesterday you wished me a good sleep and it worked!”
“Well, I wish you another good sleep.” L giggled at the absurdity of my magic charm, and flitted into the Ranch like a butterfly without a care in the world.
Immediately I thought of John Lennon’s “Whatever gets you through the night, It’s all right, It’s all right.”
The kids here use all kinds of tricks to get through their nights.
S. recently told the group that Boundless is her time to focus on herself. She claimed most of what she does is supporting others. I felt like screaming, “Do the second part, the first takes care of itself.” But I kept quiet. Whatever S. needs to tell herself. That’s all right. Because S is nailing it here right now. And she is sleeping just fine.
JJ, just two weeks in, has settled himself. Found a few of his people. Quieted his nervous ticks. He just needed a pal. That’s all it took to ensure his smooth slumber.
K, who emerged from his Covid hovel in September with his social skills wilting like a thirsty flower, told himself that he has to “stop saying stupid shit”. He practiced this mantra before bed every night. It has worked. Now embraced by his peers as a reformed weirdo, he is the olympic snoring champion. A nuclear weapon would not disturb him.
Two nights ago I ran a session on how to have good conversations.
If you are interested, check out
I asked the group to choose a peer that they would normally not hang out with, to practice the art of chatting. Their choices resulted in the most hilarious pairings. The jock with the nerd. The overly sensitive with the boor. The cerebral with the ADHD.
And what ensued was miraculous. Everyone was asked to highlight the juicy bits of their convos.
What they had in common, as opposed to their superficial differences, were striking. Oh, to have Trump and Biden play the same game.
Post session, we all just hung out and had a group conversation. I let them take it wherever they wanted. It ended up on the topic of love. On maturity (or lack thereof). And the perils or porn, which inspired to exclaim loudly,
“Just stop watching! It’s not how it goes in the real world. It’s screwing you up.”
Instead of solemnity, they began giggling, which soon morphed into an uproar. And I was dismissed as a grumpy old grandpa. Maybe justifiably so.
I don’t care. Saying this stuff to teens is what gets me through the night.
Parents, your kids, new and old, are doing wonderfully well. The whole session is turning into a vibrant and loving dinner conversation.