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Lysander, 18.

Lysander, 18. 1080 1080 Nicole

Lysander turns 18 today. He is a unique individual. Sure, we all consider each of our children remarkable – it is the privilege of parenthood. Still, from the earliest years, we’ve observed this person grow and develop an exceptional character, unconcerned about how others perceive him. Indeed, when anyone assigns “weird” to anyone or anything, he replies, “weirdness is awesomeness” in such a way that one might feel abashed to think otherwise.

Lysander is categorically kind, generous with love, and unwavering in resolve to make things right in this world. He bears the very image of God, and to know Lysander is to know God in a way that apart from making his acquaintance you would not. It is a privilege to mother him, be friends with him, discuss the importance of understanding the fourth dimension properly, to imagine and explore with him.

Lysander is 18 now. He can buy cigarettes and lotto tickets. He can live on his own and fight in a war. But what I think I’m most excited about is that he can vote. He is already making a beautiful impression on this world. Still, I believe he will make a bigger impact on it that even I can imagine.

Happy birthday, my dear son – imagine beautiful things, because you are well equipped to bring them to life!

“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight,” E.E. Cummings

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About the author


Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (CO, MI).

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