I had a question/answer session and book signing a few weeks ago at Bank Square Books in Mystic, Connecticut for my book A Bird and the Dragon: Their Love Story: A Memoir. I never reported on how it went. Well, in the proverbial sense, it rained cats and dogs off and on for most of that Sunday. But would you believe, I had a good time! The people that came into the store were happy to be out of the rain and happy to talk so we visited. I met a mother and daughter who had come east to check out New England colleges and they bought a copy of my book as a memento of their trip here and hopefully of finding the right college. They were very open and engaging people. Later, there was a gentleman who wanted to look at the store’s suggested reading books and my table was blocking his way so we chatted. Come to find out he was also a self-published author with several suggestions of things to do or avoid. And then there were the kids who walked by and the last boy in the line swiped a valentine cookie out of the box of cookies I’d baked for the occasion. I must say that Bank Square Books is a very pleasant place in which to spend a rainy afternoon. You should try it sometime, rainy or otherwise.
But my story doesn’t end there. From where I was sitting behind my table of books and cookies I was looking directly at the store’s spinner racks of greeting cards and note cards. As I sat, one really caught my attention. There was a large caterpillar that took up one side of the front of the white greeting card and then the words, “Teaching a Child not to Step on Caterpillars is as Valuable to the Child as it is to the Caterpillar.” The words are attributed to Bradley Miller. But as I contemplated the message it hit me that this is one of the problems in our society. We mothers have not spent much time teaching our children, especially our boys, not to step on caterpillars. That message is so vital–to teach respect for all living things. Every one of us has a value of some sort in our world and we have a right to be here. We need to honor bugs, and by extrapolation, all living creatures and plants here in our environment. I can hear some of you mothers saying, “What’s the point? You teach your son not to step on a caterpillar and Dad comes out in his heavy work boots and says as he squishes everyone he can see, ‘See, Son, this is how we take care of things we don’t like.’”
This lesson is so simple but I think if we had been teaching this concept all along we would not be having all the #MeToo issues. Granted I understand that perpetrators have a history and probably experiences that drive them to disrespect others but if the concept were an accepted part of our culture, then our need for guns and aggressive, domineering behavior would be much less. I know my message is a bit simplistic but sometimes it is the simple words that stick in the mind. Happy teaching!!
And now my last message is that I’m going to be taking on a little Cavalier King Charles puppy this Saturday afternoon, March 3, 2018. Visiting hours will be on Sunday between 1:00 p.m. and whenever, at my home. Any and all are invited. After that I will be taking a three week, at least, maternity leave. I have never had a puppy at just 8 weeks and we both have a lot to learn and relearn. Plus, I need to help my old dog Cara Cozy, aged 13 ½, to accept the new pup and then remember that she can still be a mother dog. I will need her help. She knows all the house rules and will have to teach Blaze what I forget. Thanks for your understanding, patience, and wish us luck. If you wish or need to contact me go to my website JessieMay Kessler and click on the contact button.