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Always believe

August 18, 2008 - LLee Janssen

An important rule of parenting: Always believe in your children. Always. And choose wisely, too, what you believe ... believe in the right things and the right things will come back around. In time, you may just find that your beliefs will pay off.


I am learning about the thrill of living vicariously through my sons, something cherished for many years by the mother of one of my long-time friends. They had that perfect mother-daughter relationship, with the older there to support the younger, and the younger staying in near-daily contact as she went to college, traveled abroad, fell in love and did that whole traditional route, finally bringing home grandbabies for the older woman to tuck also into her heart.

Often I would find myself near jealousy over the closeness the two shared. At the same time, it was the type of bond I was forming with my sons, probably  not even realizing it through the years of work that comes with raising children -- single-handedly, yet -- while working to not just support them, but to get them into a better neighborhood, to make sure they had swim lessons before Summering with dad in Florida, and to make sure I could also take care of myself. Always.

Recent years have finally gotten me to that place where the living vicariously kicked in. The highs come in surges, and recently we've been riding the wave.

Relix, a jambands magazine, ran a spread on Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead. First, a long-ago interview freshly dusted off. Then a two-part piece: Part I, How Jerry Got Hip (Again), and Part II, three pages on the Ak/Fam as the inheritors of the Dead's legacy, complete with photo and pull quotes.

(Did I just write that? Is that really happening? Sometimes I have to wonder if I'm not dreaming ... and then the phone rings and it's Seth's mom, and she's going half as nuts as me over the article.)

Let's add this note: Dana and Seth performed in composer Rhys Chatham's 200-electric guitar ensemble at Lincoln Center Friday night. Remember the May performance here w/ 100 guitars and all the kids from the Uptown Music Collective, immersed in a mind-blowing symphony and surrounded by a host of avant musicians ... imagine doubling that! Sorry I couldn't make the show myself as I had to work. I'm sure it was mind-numbing and fun. But there are bound to be other opportunities just around the corner.

As I said, sometimes you just have to believe.

No. Always believe.


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