nurturing Thursdays: early wishes for…

…a very blessed Father’s Day!

You must be checking your calendar to see when it is. Don’t worry. I’m a month early. Because my daughter’s wedding will be front and center soon, I wanted to give my husband his due before all the hoopla surrounding her day overshadows everything else.

As devoted as I am to my daughter, I continue to be amazed at my husband’s unconditional love and loyal support. He is selfless when it comes to providing for us. There has never been a time since our daughter was born when he put his needs before ours. I don’t even remember him asking for a single material thing. I’ve always made gift choices which I thought would please him; whether or not there was an occasion to celebrate.

I didn’t know my dad. He died when I was one. Without realizing it, I’m sure I sought surrogates as a child growing up. There were 2 men who resonated as father figures…my best friend’s dad and our family doctor. Their small gestures made me feel that an adult other than my mom cared about my well-being. I understood that they belonged to other children, but when these men spoke to me I basked in the warmth of their attention, however fleeting. How I wished I was their daughter. I would have been proud, and pleased.

My husband has turned out to be just such a dad. He is everything I would have wished for as a child. Thank God I grew up subconsciously knowing the kind of man with whom I wanted to share my life. He also happened to be…

…the perfect father…

…for our precious daughter.

………hugmamma.278


More inspirational thoughts at…
https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2016/05/12/nurt-thurs-move-on/

 

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…our own “arab spring”

Americans shook their heads as Egypt experienced the turmoil and upheaval of the “Arab Spring.” Many looked askance at a country whose citizens would become embroiled in such a messy civil war. This is the 21st century, after all.

Having settled our differences over a century ago, Americans tend to separate themselves from the fight for democracy happening elsewhere in the world. Been there; done that. Or so we like to think. Truth is nothing was permanently resolved. Just as the movement to free slaves went underground before and during The Civil War, so too have white supremacists been biding their time ever since, awaiting a leader who would one day champion their cause.

Just as Trump hijacked the Republican Party to invoke the cause of angry, white men, Bernie Sanders has done the same with the Democratic Party. A self-professed Liberal, Sanders is also on the war path for angry, white men. Both he and Trump welcome the support of any and all, but make no mistake their target group are white men who have been disenfranchised…losing their jobs and their standing in the community to others. Trump and Sanders hold themselves forth as white men who can return the middle and lower classes to the status quo. They ignore the changing times and the changing face of the world in which we live.

Trump and Sanders have more in common than not. Electing either for president is choosing to return America to the same old, same old…a patriarchal America in which white men provide for us…according to their whim.

The assault on Hillary Clinton is rooted in the fear that someone other than a white man might do as good a job, or better. America is poised to find out. The biggest risk facing our country is not going for the “same old, same old.” The biggest risk is throwing aside the shackles that have bound Madame Liberty to 100+ years of welcoming all who seek freedom and comfort to our shores. It’s time we let her do the job from…

…the oval office…

…hillary for president.

………hugmamma.(photo…haveyoupackedthecamera.com)

 

…gives me the creeps.

Trump is showing himself to be…the bogeyman. And in the process, he’s scaring the heck out of me. Could anyone be scarier? Maybe Hitler in his rise to power.

During my annual eye checkup with our ophthalmologist today, he reassured me that there was no way Trump would be elected president. He cited as proof the fact that 83% of Hispanic women and 91% of African American women are against Trump. As comforting as that may sound, he has until November to wear voters down.

Americans are driven by advertising. Most don’t research the pros and cons behind their purchases. TV ads that keep making the pitch to buy their products usually hit their mark. We are bombarded every day by subliminal messages to buy this or that. And we succumb, time and again. Even against our better judgment in some cases.

If voters hear Trump sound bytes over and over and over again, they might eventually be sucked into believing he’s speaking the truth. In fact, he is a grand manipulator of the truth. It’s what he calls…”the art of the deal.”

Young and old alike smoke, do drugs, drink to excess, and eat junk food. So why wouldn’t they vote for Trump? He’s bad for America, but he tells it like it is. That’s a “high” for a lot of people. They enjoy getting high on Trump’s belly-aching. There’s never been anything like it, so it must be good…at least until after the high wears off. And believe me, it’ll wear off pretty fast if he’s elected.

The really scary part is Trump didn’t expect to win. His was suppose to be a message campaign. The same can be said for his democratic counterpart, Bernie Sanders. Now that Trump is at the top of the Republican heap, he doesn’t know how to lead except to continue denigrating all his would-be detractors, including Speaker-of-the-House Paul Ryan.

Trump’s only asset is making deals. So until he sits at the president’s desk in the Oval Office, Trump will only know how to mouth off from the bully pulpit. Don’t look for substantive policies on how he’d fight Isis, or reduce the deficit, or send millions of immigrants back home to Mexico. Trump hasn’t figured that all out yet. He’s having too much fun scaring the bejesus out of everyone…his supporters, his forsworn enemies at home and abroad, parents and their children, women who aren’t candidates for Miss Universe or who serve as media mouthpieces for him, people of color and non-Christians.

We may watch in disbelief as Kim Jong il, North Korea’s leader, dallies the threat of nuclear warfare in front of the world, but we may be facing our own despot in Donald Trump.

…be careful what you ask for.

………hugmamma.


…hug mamma!

Happy Mother’s Day to all who mother…children, grandchildren, students, others’ children…and, of course, pets. Make sure you get your requisite hugs and smooshies. Have a few extra for me since my daughter is thousands of miles away. Although she and her fiancé had a beautiful vase of fragrant stargazer lilies and roses delivered to me today.

Of all the days we celebrate, Mother’s Day is by far the one I cherish most. If it weren’t for God’s grace I might never have been a mom. Not until my husband and I were wed 16 years was I blest with our only child. That’s why I write, wearing my heart on my sleeve…about my daughter.

Moms are special human beings. We give and give and give…and yet we never think of it that way. That’s just how we’re built it seems. It’s in our DNA. We instinctively nurture our children, fulfilling all their needs…physically and spiritually. When called upon we can even become…Super Women! There’s nothing we can’t do for our children. Nothing!

When our children are ill, we inhabit their bodies with our minds…willing them to heal. We instinctively feel their sorrows and weep as one with them. When they are elated, we carry them heavenward.

Because children are flesh of our flesh, we would step in front of a careening car to save them. Or exchange our healthy bodies for their diseased ones. We would sacrifice our lives…to spare theirs.

The light goes out when a child is gone. All that remain are memories. Truthfully, that’s all any of us have when our lives end. And isn’t that what really counts? Memories. Precious memories. Nothing material compares.

So we should live fully in each moment. Savor our children…their smiles, their frowns…their gusto, their  withdrawal…their mastery of some things, their lack of skill for others.

If we stockpile memories of being with our children we will never be without them. And we will always have…

…a beautiful and happy mother’s day.

………hugmamma.IMG_4128

Nurt Thurs – Would You Glow?

Something to seriously contemplate…
………hugmamma.

"On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea"

180th Nurturing Thursday

5-5-16

The words spoken — outwardly and inwardly!!
We deserve this kindness!!
We deserve to display our beauty!!


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Frequent Contributors to
Nurturing Thursday:

Tea and Paper
Meg Evans
ladyleemanila
mazeepuran
{Grace}
Pieces of Starlight
Inside the Mind of Isadora

_____________________________________

What is Nurturing Thursday, you ask?

In this amazingly competitive society of ours, how many of us truly feel good about ourselves? How often do we extend to ourselves … the same courtesies, considerations, nurturing, forgiveness and understanding we would a loved one, a friend, or even a stranger?

Our culture tells us we need to be special and above average to feel good about ourselves. Yet, it is not possible for all of us to be above average at the same time. Don’t we usually know of someone richer, more attractive, “more together” or successful than we are? Even if we discount the material…

View original post 185 more words

teaching our children…

…right from wrong.

That’s what parents set out to do. It’s like the Hypocratic oath for us. Parents: Do no harm. The first line translated from Greek is “I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:…”

Leading by example is the best and the most basic advice a parent could ever follow. “Little pitchers have big ears” is another truism parents would do well to remember.

The Andy Griffith Show and its town of Mayberry is still relevant today. I think even the majority of dissatisfied, Trump supporters would agree. And yet it’s sad to think that while they are clamoring to… “make America great again,” they are sacrificing their children to a slogan.

I’m not a parenting expert, although being a parent is something I take very seriously. In fact, it is my primary undertaking in life…to be the best parent I can be. Everything I believe, everything I do has ramifications…as a parent. Yes, I misstep; but morality is not something I can ever sacrifice for anything or anyone. Before committing to a cause or a person, it has to sit right…in my gut. That alone signals to my daughter that I can be believed; that she can follow my lead.

The end NEVER, EVER justifies the means. No amount of comfort and well being is worth the degradation of one’s soul. Trump has corrupted the morals of millions of parents. In the process, they have shown their children that their morals can be bought by a slogan.

My unsolicited advice to these parents…

…we reap…what we sow.

………hugmamma.

 

nurturing thursdays: did you talk to your child today?

My daughter and I spoke at some length this evening, after she got home from teaching dance classes and rehearsing students for an upcoming competition. We’re indeed blest to share such closeness all these years, talking on the phone for hours…like best girlfriends.

It wasn’t always that way.

Until she was 16 when I accompanied her to Georgia to train with Atlanta Ballet, I was mom. I set the rules and she followed them. It wasn’t like I had to punish her, it’s just that she knew the boundaries within which to operate to keep everything on an even keel. Because my husband’s job kept him on the road and at the office from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., I functioned like a single parent. Even more so when my daughter and I lived in Atlanta while he remained  in Washington, working to pay the bills.

The boundaries were stretched when she dated her first boyfriend. Their relationship lasted 3 years or so, during which time there were the usual highs and lows accompanying first love. Hers. He’d already been in and out of several relationships. On my own to figure things out, I did my best. There were conflicts for sure, but my daughter knew I always had her back. Early on I tried to send the guy packing because I thought he was pretty selfish. I relented when she ran after him. Eventually he drew me in with his charm. I was still under his spell when my daughter finally broke up with him. Thank goodness she did. He really was a selfish opportunist.

My daughter fared no better with the next few romances. She kept dating losers. Eventually these failed relationships coupled with a profession that requires so much emotional and physical stamina, caused her to spiral downwards into depression. She eventually reached out to us. Thankfully! Bursting into tears on the phone, she immediately agreed to come home so we could help her. 

I flew east to help her pack and see to last minute arrangements. The ballet company kindly offered to hold her job until she returned. For 2 months, our daughter was under psychiatric care. It was determined that a concussion she’d had as a child probably altered her brain chemistry. Unbeknownst to us at the time, the accident skewed her perception of reality. Dance probably helped divert her attention from negative thoughts. There’s just so much choreography to memorize.

Only when she encountered the usual mind games that come with a job and a boyfriend, did our daughter start to overthink everything. On the cusp of adulthood, she tried to tackle her problems on her own. Dance friends her age were little help, since they were burdened with their own problems. Years passed; things worsened. A psychologist she engaged only made our daughter’s task more daunting. She could not figure out how to put her life back together again after those raw, gut-wrenching, one-on-one sessions. Her safety net, my husband and I, lived 2,000 miles away.

With the help of a few close friends to whom she finally opened up, our daughter started to find her way out of the black hole that engulfed her. Thank God for them. Thank God she reached out for help. Thank God my husband didn’t think twice about bringing her home so we could help her heal. Six years later, she’s excited to be marrying a young man who cherishes her for who she is. Her happiness is priceless.

Today my daughter told me of a 12-year-old dancer in one of her classes who lost her brother this week…to suicide. He text his friends, thanking them for trying to help. He told them they did all they could, and asked that they help his parents. Rumor has it that he had been distraught over a failed relationship. Although it’s not certain.

My daughter cried on and off the day she heard of the young man’s death. And the following day, she thought “He was only 16. A baby. And he didn’t live to see today.” She still registered disbelief when telling me about it.

Talking to our children is a lifetime blessing. We wield so much influence over them, whether we know it or not. We can never take for granted that…

…our loving words…can save their lives.

…i know.

………hugmamma.img_5209.jpg

(View more inspirational thoughts at…
https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2016/05/05/nurt-thurs-would-you-glow/

dreams…nightmares

Do you dream? Or have nightmares? I often have both, and at the same time. How’s that possible? I have no idea. While I’m more or less in control of what I do during the day, I have absolutely none when it comes to sleepy time. I’m at the mercy of the fairies or gargoyles, depending upon who decides to mess with my head on any given night.

In the morning my husband chuckles when I explain how I spent the night wrestling imaginary characters…some familiar, some not. He takes no credit for often showing up, usually as a bystander or the root cause of my struggles with the unknown. The man has no clue what goes on inside my head, even though we’ve known each other almost half-a-century. Men.

My mom always attributed fitful sleeping to having eaten too close to bedtime. More so if I ate something spicy. That made sense when I was young. Most things she said made sense then, given the deck was stacked in her favor as THE authority in my life. Now that I’m the authoritarian in my own life, I figure my dreams and nightmares have more to do with psychology.

Issues that remain unresolved in my mind probably find their way into my consciousness as I sleep. There where I have little or no control, I react as best I can to the images I come across. Because I’m a strong person, I find I usually struggle to maintain that strength…even as I lay motionless. That’s probably when my dreams become nightmares. I’m fighting for self-preservation.

It’s been a very long time since I experienced something even more disturbing as I lay sleeping. It would even occur when I napped. Day or night, if I was being threatened in my dreams I would not be able to move or even make a sound. I could feel myself struggling to wake up, or to scream for help from my husband who lay fast asleep alongside me. I imagine that’s what it would be like if I awoke from a coma, and found myself locked in a coffin, buried 6 feet underground.

Scary, right? Thank goodness I’ve outgrown that particular idiosyncrasy. Unfortunately, my daughter may have inherited it. She told me she experienced the exact same feeling. So now she tries to hold her fiancé’s hand before she falls asleep, something she could not do no matter how hard she tried to reach for it while in the throes of a subliminal struggle. I know that feeling. No matter how close my husband lay to me, I could not move an inch to scream for help.

I’m certain my daughter and I aren’t the only ones beset with such goings on inside our heads, as our bodies surrender to deep slumber. We couldn’t be that unique.

…are you…one of us?

………hugmamma.

...zzzzzzzzz...

…zzzzzzzzz…

 

 

 

…nerves of steel

That’s what an American president needs in the global chess game.

In my opinion, President Obama doesn’t flinch when maneuvered into a tight spot by his opponent. No matter who his adversary is…Mitch McConnell, Rush Limbaugh, John McCain…or Putin, Netanyahu, even Isis…the president stays the course, guided by his own moral compass. All the media’s tongue lashing does not dissuade him; neither is he swayed by their ubiquitous polling of the American public. God, how I hate those polls!

Putin is probably rubbing his hands in glee over the prospect of a President Trump. The Russian leader knows Trump well. After all they could be twin brothers. They’re all about the deal and who wins the game. Putin knows he could manipulate The Donald into situations favorable to the Russians. While Trump brags about keeping his game plan close to his vest, his personality has been on full display for all the world to see. Putin has seen Trump explode time and again when he’s personally attacked. Targeting Trump’s ego is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. Trump, the bull-headed narcissist, would charge without concern for anyone or anything except his pride and its preservation.

What’s also interesting is now that Trump is the Republican nominee, he is floundering for a running mate. Now that he has clinched the top of the ticket, he is back pedaling in search of a savvy politician. The outsider…wants an insider…to teach him the legislative ropes. My. My. And by the look of things, no one of substance is stepping up to the plate. Sarah Palin may get a second chance at VP. Newt Gingrich would also probably jump at the chance to serve as Trump’s puppeteer, throwing caution to the wind as he maneuvers his marionette into uncharted territory.

Trump-Palin. Trump-Gingrich. Almost as conceivable as…

…trump-limbaugh…or trump-duke…

…….hugmamma.


 

 

do you still…???

Clean your house? Or is that chore relegated to some unlucky soul? Well, in my house…I’m IT!

Fortunately for me my husband isn’t picky about dust collecting, even though he suffers from the occasional asthma attack. Don’t worry, though. Modern science has lessened that concern over time. He’s on meds. And actually the daily intake of local honey has also diminished both our symptoms to seasonal allergens.

As long as my home is straightened and vacuumed, we’re both okay with my procrastination. Luckily there does come a time, however, when the grit and grime makes me want to scream. It might also very well be that when I’m awaken at night with noises that go bump in the night…I’m finally moved to clean every inch of my house. You see we’re occasionally unwilling hosts to a field mouse or two.

So today I got out the Windex and bottle of furniture polish and went at it. Still am…at it…and I’ve only tackled the kitchen so far. I’m no hare when it comes to this race; I’m definitely the turtle…wax in hand…scrubbing, polishing, scrubbing, polishing. Then I’ll get down on hands and knees and polish the floor…by hand. This ensures my getting into every nook and cranny. My husband chuckles at my inefficient methods. However he knows better than to intercede. He’s learned to let me wear myself out, rather than try to convince me to do it his way, the more expedient way.

I may not do this often, but no one can accuse me of being a total slob when it comes to housekeeping. I’ve just learned to set my priorities and tackle one project at a time. And planning my daughter’s wedding was worth letting my house go to pot.

My goal in life now is not to stress…

...but to stop and smell the roses…

…and often!

………hugmamma. (…even in paris, where i took this photo last august.)787

 

…the media wins!

Exactly as the political pundits and their unending coverage of the riveting Trump persona could have foretold…he is the man of the hour. He is their dream political candidate for U.S. President. As long as he is in office, their jobs are guaranteed. Why? Because they will hang on his every word…awaiting Trump’s next faux pas. Better yet, he’ll make headline news every time he falls on his own sword, taking some action we will all live to regret.

The more I listen to political pundits, especially during presidential campaigns, the more I realize how shallow they really are. Their jobs require that they hopscotch all over the political spectrum trying to drum up ratings with sensational talking points and sound bytes. As much as they badger politicians and others involved in politics to speak their truth on-camera, pundits avoid owning up to what it is they believe.

Political pundits are not paid to believe; they are paid to muck around in the mud trying to confuse the rest of us about our beliefs. Early on Chris Matthews, MSNBC’s “mouth,” touted Trump as being a fun candidate. Someone who knew how to have fun while running for president. Now Matthews is trying to back pedal BIG TIME! Too late, Chris. Too late. Own your part in Trump’s position as presumptive nominee.

It’s the rare pundit who acknowledges that the media needs to reassess their part in Trump’s inevitable triumphal ride to the Oval Office. Just today one did say as much on Chris Matthew’s show. Good for her. 

In speaking at the Annual Correspondent’s Dinner, even President Obama acknowledged that the press is to be congratulated for the hand they’ve played in allowing Trump free, unfettered publicity. Obama said he would follow their lead, and proceeded to do just the opposite…not giving Trump more than the obligatory nod.

The pundits take themselves so seriously. It’s as though they feel they are, in fact, an intricate component in the political game. They like to play referee. They like to puff their chests, toot their own horns and spew witticisms. Perhaps they should watch themselves at length, like I do. They might come to see what I see. Many of them…

…are pretty narcisstic…just like trump.

………hugmamma.

 

…don’t go there.

That’s my advice to Mr. Trump if he tries to fuel his campaign by bringing up Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky. Trump will be playing The Man Card. You know. The one that says what’s good for the goose, ain’t in no way applicable to the gander. Men like Trump can philander and have their cake and eat it too. But women who survive a philandering husband have to keep on keeping on…paying for the mistake foisted upon them.

None of us liked what happened, but the Clintons paid dearly…and publicly…for a sin which for me is the worst committed against women. Taking a woman’s sexuality and throwing it back in her face. I’ve crossed many a celebrity off my “favorites list” because of that…Brad Pitt, Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson among them.

Of all the dirt the Republicans have attempted to dig up about the Clintons over their decades long, high-profile, very much public life…Trump’s proposed pilloring of Hillary as an enabler…will call into question all women who have found themselves in the same situation. It would be yet another bar set by a white man who talks out of both sides of his mouth. A man who has no qualms about establishing different sets of rules…for men and women, old immigrants and new immigrants, and the bullying tactics of his supporters and those with opposing views.

It’s a credit to Mrs. Clinton that she didn’t bury herself in self pity after the devastating clobbering she took at the time of the president’s affair. Instead, she went on to do what she has done since graduating from law school. Hillary Clinton continued to serve the public, and not in a small, obscure way. She served two terms as New York’s senator AND she fought hard to be president. When she didn’t win, she still didn’t turn her back on America. She went on to serve as Obama’s Secretary of State.

If, and that’s a BIG IF, Hillary doesn’t win this election, she can hold her head up high knowing she’s served her country well. Exceedingly well! It would be our loss not to give this highly-credentialed, principled woman…the first ever…the opportunity to lead us away from a democracy dominated by men. Hillary can tell her grandchildren, she spent her life in service to her country. She held her own against those who would try to bring her down at every turn.

Maybe someday those of us who are accused of enabling our loved ones to do and be all that they can will get our chance in the sun. Out from under…

…the crushing weight of those holding the keys to power.

………hugmamma.

 

my story…

I’m never without a book when I crawl under the covers at night. And it’s usually a biography of someone famous. There’ve been a few infamous folks as well. Mrs. Wallace Simpson comes to mind.

Folks living in the glare of the spotlight captivate me. I wonder if what we see or hear or read about them is real. Or is much of it fabricated for public consumption? I grew up under the spell of Ingrid Bergman and Bette Davis, Errol Flynn and Cary Grant. Theirs was a Hollywood where movie stars were celluloid creations. What we saw wasn’t always who they were off-screen.

Historical figures also interest me. I’ve read the life stories of several presidents, including FDR, Eisenhower, Kennedy, LBJ, Nixon and Obama. What propels these men to choose the extraordinary instead of the ordinary path is a lesson in advanced psychology.

The common denominator in all of these biographies is parental influence. Most often it’s the lack of, or overabundance of…parental involvement. As a young boy, Cary Grant suffered the loss of his mother when his father had her committed to an institution. Grant didn’t learn of her existence until he was well on his way to becoming a Hollywood icon. Forever after, he sought her approval which he felt he never got.

Rose Kennedy left much of the parenting duties to nannies and staff. John was a sickly child who never received the doting care and concern of his mother. As an adult, he was not overly affectionate toward her. In fact, it was his father whose approval the son desperately wanted, and whose loyalty and love meant the most to the president.

Nixon’s Quaker mother instilled in him the ambition to always do well…no matter the odds. And Sarah Roosevelt made it impossible for Eleanor to follow in her mother-in-law’s footsteps. She whose very life revolved solely around her beloved Franklin.

So what’s different between these lives…and mine? Mostly the trappings. Articles about their comings and goings are devoured by millions of adoring fans; I have a few loyal readers following hugmamma.com. They dine at 21 in NYC; I’ve been there a handful of times as the guest of one of my husband’s clients. They fly hither and yon in first class accommodations; I’ve been fortunate to ride up front a time or two. The world is their oyster; I’ve traveled enough to know contentment…sitting on my deck, watching the world go by.

More importantly the death of my father, which left my siblings and me in the care of an uneducated, impoverished 30-year-old mother, left invisible scars that no amount of time will ever erase.

When we delve beneath the surface of our lives, what we find is a commonality to our human story. No matter what we go on to make of ourselves, we are the product of how we were raised…by whom…and how they were affected by their own life stories.

The only difference between one story and another is what we each bring to it. Do we improve upon what came before? Or do we let the story play out according to script. I prefer to think we can tweak a line here and there, maybe even rewriting a chapter or two. The ending can resemble a happily-ever-after, even if it’s not the one in An Affair to Remember, or Sleepless in Seattle.

Life is not a done deal…until it’s done. There’s time…minutes, hours, days, months, years…to do some rewriting. All it takes is a bit of imagination…

…and a whole lot of guts.

………hugmamma.

 

 

talk about old…

…and I know old.

Returning to Cold War rhetoric is like dragging the tyrannosaurus rex out of mothballs. Isn’t it preferable to leave dinosaurs where they belong…in the Smithsonian?

Arianna Huffington recently explained that Donald Trump is sleep deprived. He admitted as much himself, claiming to get by on just 3 hours sleep a night. Obviously he’s not well read on the consequences of long term sleep deprivation. Among them fatal diseases like heart attack, cancer, even Alzheimer’s. At 70, it’s worrisome that a President Trump would have his finger on the nuclear button. He could blast us all to smithereens in the midst of his own personal crisis.

Putting all of one’s faith and hope into a man who lives in the past, wanting to return America to an “us vs. them” mentality is akin to wearing a blindfold for the next 4 years. The world will move forward in spite of us. The U.S. will be the “it” in a global game of “Blind Man’s Bluff,” stumbling around unable to discern what it is the other players are doing.

For better or worse, the world is on a path forward. There’s no hitting the “reset” button and doing a makeover. America can remain an important player, having significant influence every step of the way. Or America can play Trump’s game and cry “wolf” every time he stubs his toe.

Bernie Sanders is 74, an old man with big dreams. I worry he won’t be around to see them all come true. Who will carry his torch? His loving, loyal wife? Good for them. Maybe not so good for America.

Passing the torch is an Olympian fete. It’s a team effort. It’s essential we have a captain who can lead the way, outlining a path toward greatness. It’s also essential to have someone who has “walked the walk” and not just “talked the talk.”

Yes, like everyone else I’m awed by charisma. However if my life depended upon it, I’d want someone who’s not afraid to show us that she’s also an intellectual geek to captain my team.

Slow and steady won the race for the turtle. And that’s who I’m rooting for in the presidential elections…

…mama turtle, herself!

………hugmamma.