About five years ago my son and I were restocking the woodpile under our front deck when someone else’s son wiped out on his skateboard in front of the house. We didn’t see the kid go down, but we heard his concerned friend yelling, “You OK, Ryan?” (No response.) “Ryan?!” I ran out to the street and saw a sturdy-looking 13 year old sprawled on the road, not moving.
On the ride to the emergency room the boy told me his name was Ryan Tompkins and his arm hurt a lot. I waited with him at Marin General until his mom arrived. When she walked toward me, I had that weird feeling that I knew her. Actually I didn’t, but I’d seen her picture over breakfast every morning. Ryan’s mom is Joan Ryan, long-time columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle.
Ryan was wearing a helmet and he was fine after his spill, but turns out he had another skateboard accident in 2006 (no helmet that time). His traumatic brain injury is at the heart of Joan Ryan’s new book, The Water Giver: the story of a mother, a son, and their second chance.
In this week’s Family Confidential podcast, Joan and I meet again to talk about getting beyond focusing on our kids’ problems and what needs to be fixed, to setting up Parenting Camp on new ground… the place where we accept, no celebrate our children for exactly who they are.
Have a listen here:
If you have iTunes, you can subscribe to this podcast in the iTunes Store.
Or, you can download an MP3 version here.
Upcoming guest authors include:
- Mike Robbins – Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken: Transform your life with the Power of Authenticity
- Lynn Goodwin – You Want Me To Do What? Journaling for Caregivers
- Carol Normandi – Over it: A Teen’s Guide To Getting Beyond Obsessions with Food and Weight
- Ayelet Waldman – Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace
- Wednesday Martin – Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do
- Robert-Rummel-Hudson – Schuyler’s Monster: A Father’s Journey With His Wordless Daughter
Subscribe to Family Confidential and tune in each time!
*What’s a podcast? “A podcast is a series of digital media files, usually either digital audio or video, that is made available for download via web syndication.” — Wikipedia… So, in this case, there’s an audio file for you to listen to (in addition to reading the above).