Late evening philosophy

Cathy Brownfield

Random thoughts. Do you ever have those moments when you want to say something deeply profound, philosophical?


When our children were growing up there never was time for such discussions, so I broached them late at night, the husband groaning, “Why do you always want to talk in the middle of the night?”

Well, basically, because unless someone woke up in the middle of the night throwing up or feverish, it was the best time NOT to be interrupted.

The children are all grown up now with children and step-children of their own and these days we still don’t have profound, philosophical discussions, especially not in the middle of the night.

So, I go to my journaling. Or my story writing. Or I write articles for Family Recovery Center so I can talk with you for the ten minutes it might take for you to read about 750 words.


You might have figured out after all these years that children are very important to me. Actually, family is very important to me. My mother once tried to toughen me up a bit. I stood my ground. She said she guessed everyone needs a soft place to land sometimes.

I may have added the title of Grandma (Memaw to Ayden) to my job description, but I’m still Mom. And I offer my best opinions, sometimes when they aren’t asked for but when there is an important point to be made. I have proof that a parent’s investment of time with their children is worth it. The pay-off, now and in years to come, is well worth the time spent with them.

I hope I have taught my children – and now grandchildren – to always do their best, to make wise choices, to own their actions and words, to never give up on themselves.

I hope I have passed to my children – and now grandchildren – the skills they need to be resilient, skills my mother passed to me. (Resilient: the ability to face hard times and recover quickly, to keep moving forward.)

I hope I have taught them to finish what they start. (Even if it takes 28 years to finally get that bachelor’s degree.)

I hope I have taught them faith – something good to believe in, and hope, the belief that difficulties can be overcome. And I know I have taught them love.

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) says, “The belief that the challenges and conditions can be overcome – this is the foundation of recovery.”

From Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child: “The single most common factor for children who develop resilience is at least one stable and committed relationship with a supportive parent, caregiver or other adult.” (Supportive: providing encouragement or emotional help.)

The relationships we have when we are children help to mold how we will grow to be as adults. Some of the difficulties we deal with as adults are rooted in our childhood experiences. For instance, bullying. It is traumatizing. For the rest of your life, you may flash back to those episodes and it affects how you respond to other people, always alert and watchful, suspicious of the other person’s motives. Can you trust them to be kind and respectful? Or will they tear you to pieces?

So, maybe something in these words touches you where you live. Maybe you have a mental health or substance use problem you wish you could do something about. Or you are concerned about the influences on your children that could lead them to such problems. Maybe you aren’t quite sure of your parenting skills (though Dr. Ray Guarendi wrote that you’re probably a better parent than you think you are.)

It’s all in the name: Family Recovery Center, helping families recover, to find resilience and make their ways to health and well-being.

FRC history bites: As the agency celebrates 50 years of helping families recover, here are a few bits of information. The Incredible Years group is a parenting education group. The Edge is an education/early intervention group for adolescents ages 12 to 17, usually referred by school. The Angry Birdz Group is for anger management for 6-12-year-olds at Fleming House.

For help or more information, contact Family Recovery Center, 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468. Visit the website at FRC is funded in part by Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board.