Last week I was having a classic parent-child moment as I was bugging my son about something I thought he should be doing. He stared at me and said, “You’re just chasing the cheese.” I was dumbfounded because I had no idea what he was talking about. He went on to explain that I “was like a mouse chasing after a piece of cheese that was being pulled in front of it and that I didn’t even know why I was doing it but was doing it anyway.”
Later that evening, as I was reflecting on his comment, I think I started to understand his point. We all do things by habit or routine. How many of us have used the phrase “that’s just how I was raised.” Although many of my good personal qualities resulted from how my parents raised me, I think that there were some bad ones as well. I can remember my family’s frustration when my mother would miss lively family discussions after dinner because the dishes needed to get done immediately after we finished eating. She clearly was chasing the cheese and she missed out on a lot of quality family time. Sadly, sometimes, we didn’t have those conversations at all because we all left the table to do the dishes.
That being said, sometimes my teenagers don’t appreciate that chores need to get done but my son’s point was valid and meaningful to me. One can miss out on what is important because of habit and routine. I’ll try to think about that distinction more, so I’m not just in pursuit of the cheese. I’m grateful for that discussion with my son and glad that I can still be learning at my age even though it galls me that my teacher was a teenager.
Take care and stay safe.
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan
Olivia McAfee knows what it feels like to start over. Her picture-perfect life—living in Boston, married to a brilliant cardiothoracic surgeon, raising their beautiful son, Asher—was upended when her husband revealed a darker side. She never imagined that she would end up back in her sleepy New Hampshire hometown, living in the house she grew up in and taking over her father’s beekeeping business.
Lily Campanello is familiar with do-overs, too. When she and her mom relocate to Adams, New Hampshire, for her final year of high school, they both hope it will be a fresh start.
And for just a short while, these new beginnings are exactly what Olivia and Lily need. Their paths cross when Asher falls for the new girl in school, and Lily can’t help but fall for him, too. With Ash, she feels happy for the first time. Yet at times, she wonders if she can trust him completely. . . .Then one day, Olivia receives a phone call: Lily is dead, and Asher is being questioned by the police. Olivia is adamant that her son is innocent. But she would be lying if she didn’t acknowledge the flashes of his father’s temper in Ash, and as the case against him unfolds, she realizes he’s hidden more than he’s shared with her.
Mad Honey is a riveting novel of suspense, an unforgettable love story, and a moving and powerful exploration of the secrets we keep and the risks we take in order to become ourselves.