My trip down to St. Martin was done so we could effect a nuclear family reunion of sorts. My older daughter and 14-year-old niece are down here as is my 19-year-old daughter who, as I said before, is teaching scuba diving down here.
There are hipsters and new media pundits and decryers of the national national fabric that say reading is dead, intellect is dead, that all kids want to do is click on the like button, the like button, not man, as Protagoras said, is the measure of all things.
Well, for once, I am optimistic. My kids (yes, I know that being mine I'm a) biased and they're probably b) unusual) are different. Mine, 19 and 24, are eagerly awaiting their return to academe. One to college for her Sophomore year and the other is champing at the bit to begin her doctoral program in Clinical Psychology. They are reading, each of them, Salman Rushdie or Tracy Kidder for pleasure, and speak about it with passion and erudition. My niece, 14, is reading Harry Potter in Hebrew and is writing her own epilogue to the wizard's saga.
Many aspects of the world have gone to hell in a hand-basket. Our debt is downgraded. Much of our population is cretinous. Dangerous religious thought is on the ascent.
But here, in my little house overlooking the teal blue Caribbean, my daughters have arrived.
Spend some time with them and you might be hopeful of the future.