32 Comments

This:

"where people actually listen and connect, not just take turns talking and competing for the best zinger"

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haha thanks!

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. . . And even worse, some people don't even take turns. They just interrupt each other.

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Haha true!

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So true. It's frustrating how many people think conversations are only about talking, not listening.

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Jan 19, 2023Liked by Brent Hartinger

Your poor mom, living with that kind of anxiety must have been so difficult. The thing is, while it could have been from some trauma she witnessed in her past, it also could have been the confusion of raising a child in the aftermath of the war. In my teens I thought my parents were just mean or stupid, but now I see that they had to be confused to the point of desperation. The world changed so FAST in the 50's and went totally berserk in the 60's for those who grew up in the 30's and 40's. Who can blame her? The sink thing is advice that remains timeless though.

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It's very true. I do remember that. It was less easy to remember when she was spiraling, but yes. She also grew up in the Depression.

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Dear Brent:

I can remember my Mom telling me many times there was nothing better for a person to receive a handwritten greeting card in the mail. From what I have experienced, she was right. After she died, I cleaned out her desk and found a supply of enough greeting cards for her to open her own Hallmark store. As for tree houses, having fallen out of couple and losing my breath temporarily (I fell on my chest), I don't miss the excitement of climbing a tree. Plus, I'm afraid of heights anyway. Take care.

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haha, yes, there is a thrill of receiving an actual note. I think it means something -- the person thought of you, expended effort, etc. But I suppose that's very old school by now, sadly.

My vertigo grows worse the older I get. Not a good thing!

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Jan 19, 2023Liked by Brent Hartinger

Having been raised by a fearfulmom almost exactly like yours (although, she emigrated on a refitted freighter all by herself from post-war Europe to Canada, so I’m not sure where her later over-protective tendencies were created), I STILL plan all pur stays and transportation months and months ahead. But… I’m getting better at living the day-to-day in each new place a bit more spontaneously. Thank you for the reminder of how that can enrich our lives.

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Thank you, Rose. Yes, it's definitely a constant struggle! Age is good in some ways, and bad in others. LOL

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Nov 13, 2023·edited Nov 13, 2023Liked by Brent Hartinger

I completely get this. This is me, a little in all of this (a little in each of you). My partner has the extreme gene, though, I'm sure. I'm so grateful that he never "let" me tag along on any of his sailboat races. He somehow knew, early on, that I would quietly disappear from his life forever if I experienced that. And he was right. I have no desire to risk my life to win a race. I don't even understand why races or competition exist. Ditto for his mountain climbing and extreme skiing (who flips in the air at high speeds?!). BUT, I totally encourage him to get out there and do all that with his buddies. I want him to do what he loves. I peep up with "be safe!!!!!!!!" and try to relax. It takes work.

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Haha, sounds like you have a good compromise though. I don't get the risk thing either, although I still think I can enjoy life to the fullest.

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Nov 14, 2023Liked by Brent Hartinger

Yes! Thank goodness he also loves galleries, museums, and talking to people all over the world. Phew.

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Jan 20, 2023Liked by Brent Hartinger

💜LOVE💜 the picture of you up in a tree, Brent! It's such a marvelous means of gaining a new perspective, both of the world around us, and of ourselves and our capabilities.

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Very very true! I still climb trees, though I'm much more careful now. hehe

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Ah, I truly love this perspective!

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Thank you!

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Jan 19, 2023Liked by Brent Hartinger

Just beautiful, and just what I needed to read today. Thank you so much!

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Thank you!

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It sounds like your Mom loved you very much. How blessed you are. Safe travels

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Thank you! And you are very very right. I was lucky to have two great parents.

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Awe, sweet memories of your mother. No matter what she would have understood, done, or anything else, she would be proud of you for living your life to the best of your ability. Enjoy your memories.

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Awww, thanks! And yes, I think you're absolutely right. :-)

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This made me think. I especially liked the comment about climbing trees and sometimes falling. At about age 12 I fell out of a treehouse and landed on a swing set breaking my arm. My mother, as she was wiggling it under the cold water tap, told me to stop fussing, I would live-after my arm came out of the cast I agreed.

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Haha, yeah, it was a VERY different generation, wasn't it? Definitely no helicopter parenting. Thanks for the nice words.

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Can confirm this is all an accurate description of our mother, except I’d put her cooking skill at good/excellent, rather than incredible: she cooked a little too low fat & healthy for me personally. 😀 RIP MA

-Brent’s brother

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Haha. No egg white omelettes, eh? Do you remember the argument about the tree house?

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Alright, this essay hooked me and I subscribed. My mother, born in 1923, had a similar philosophy and I've had to work hard to overcome a lot of my inherited worries about the world. I've been lurking on your Twitter account, and now I look forward to reading more. I admire what you 2 are doing.

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Thanks! Hope we don't disappoint. (My mom was born 1931. The Depression was tramautic.

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First, I am absolutely in love with your writing style. You hook me every time.

Second, I too had a perpetually over-cautious mom and a daring dad, which helped me to recognize that balance is better than either extreme, if we’re able to achieve it. Even in my 60’s, each time we plan a new trip I can hear my mom’s worried “what if?s and my dad’s “why not?”s. Those warring voices probably keep us safe though - no stupid behaviour while we’re exploring!

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Hahaha! Maybe it was a 60s thing. I love that -- What if? and Why not? Perfect! And yeah, I don't mind the mix at this point in my life! :-)

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