Yogurt and honey mask

Mix a teaspoon of plain yogurt (I prefer a high-fat brand such as Brown Cow Cream Top) with a teaspoon of honey (Humboldt Honey is my favorite). Apply to a freshly cleansed face. Leave on while perusing the local blogs, perhaps while updating your own. Rinse well with warm water. Admire your skin’s glow.

Yesterday found me in a funk not even the glorious view from the Wildcat Range could lift – especially since most of the glorious view lie hidden underneath the fog. Four times a year we make the run to-and-from Petrolia, dropping off and picking up kids from their two camps. Yesterday involved a hastily recorded show, a late start made worse by inconveniently scheduled road work and a return trip dominated by – possibly too much information here – cramps so bad I was tempted to beg the 13-year-old to drive. (What better time to learn than while descending the windy road into Ferndale? But nooooooo… “I can’t drive, Mom!” is what her response would’ve been. Ungrateful, I tell you.)

The lovely part, other than picking up my dearly missed middle child, happened at the camp. This one is all about keeping/instilling confidence in middle-school-aged girls, about helping them continue to believe in themselves rather than the various beauty and culture myths that would have their way with girls at such a vulnerable age. Being an audience to this moved many of the mothers to tears. Partly, witnessing the depth of emotion between the counselors and their charges proves what a meaningful experience has just happened in the daughters’ lives, but also, while not articulated, many of the mothers remember themselves at that age and long for just such an experience for their childhood selves. I’d gone last year, so was prepared – my options were stoicism or waterworks, and I opted to not completely break down.

This wasn’t my thing, after all; I merely chauffeured. This was K’s retreat into a world of strong, bold, funny, honest, caring young women, her grounding in the fact that she, too, embodies all those qualities. To be immersed in that reassurance, supplemented by art, swimming, yoga, crafts and the beauty of the Mattole Valley – that was her gift. If I could, I’d extract this experience from time and location and blanket the world in it. From these few dozen young women, much good will flow into the world; imagine if that exponential goodness was magnified so that every child’s growth into adulthood included such connection? Wouldn’t the human part of the world shift toward kindness? Peace, love and understanding?

I write vague this morning, trying to capture the sense of something but lacking the words for the details so important an element of solid writing.

Still, I wonder (and I must go wash this mask off soon), about children. About when the point is reached that there’s no turning back, too much damage done. Everyone comes into this world with different amounts of wit, resilience and need – and then experience their own versions of “normal,” some of which are truly awful, some of which just kind of messed up – and then they grow (or stagnate) in different ways in response. I think about this when faced with a kid whose behavior lacks conscience and wonder if that’s something that can be learned later in life. Can you learn to feel bad about hurting others if, at eight years old, you’re already without empathy, sympathy or a basic sense of goodness?

One day after a teenage boy died from police fire in Eureka, I sat in Big Blue Café with Nick. I looked across the table at this sweet blonde boy, chocolate from his hot cocoa smeared across his upper lip. He was talking about something, I can’t remember what, but I do remember his sincerity, his thoughtfulness. I remember looking across the table and imagining my young son growing into a troubled young man – would I catch it if that happened? Would there be a moment, click, like a light switched off, that I would recognize as being the instant when he slipped away?

When you do radio, one of the lessons is, “Know how to end your bit,” so that you’re not on air saying whatever it is you’re saying followed by,”Er, yeah, so anyway, that’s what I have to say about that,” but rather, wrapping it up artfully, then moving on.

Right now, though, yeah. Anyway. That’s what I have to say about that.

Time to wash the face and make some coffee. Kiss the kids good morning.