Made in the Shade

Deer Raymond,

I look around and see people going on big trips and getting their kids tons of gifts for holidays, but my family doesn’t do anything like that. We do a quiet family thing. Sometimes I wonder if I’m missing out, but I just don’t have the energy for all this running around. What can I do?


Small Fry in Tinsel Town

Dear Tater Tot,

Meet my friend Boomer. When a day of being cute and learning things gets me really exhausted, I just go sit under his shade and everything seems sunny. The thing about Boomer is – his brothers are like 10 feet tall. He’s called a Money Tree plant, but his birth name is “Pachira aquatica.” He’s actually part of the Bonsai family. If left to grow outside – they get really huge. But in the 1980’s people in crowded cities in China and Taiwan started braiding the roots and pruning the trees, like other bonsai trees, so they could be kept in small places. See, he could have been a really big tree, but then I wouldn’t be able to know him or sit in his shade. So, he’s just the right size, for him and for me.

Every life has a size. Some people live big lives and do big things and they thrive. Other people have small lives where they do meaningful small things each day and they thrive. We have a tendency in the west to think “Bigger is Better.” That’s just not true (look at me!). What comes naturally – what fits your heart – is better. If you’re happy with your life – it’s always big enough.

Your little friend,


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