Lathe Lavada September 2018


September 2018


THE RETURN HOME Experiencing Coeur D'Alene Through My Daughter’s Eyes

In our past two editions, I’ve shared the story of how I lifted myself out of an impoverished childhood in Northern Idaho and started a family right here in Las Vegas, Nevada, but they say all good stories have three parts, and mine is no exception. When I left the mountain valleys of the Northwest, I had thrown in the towel on bitter family situations. It wasn’t until my daughter Lily was born that I realized the importance of reconnecting with the people and places that had shaped my childhood. While I had gone up to visit Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, for my brothers’ weddings and a few holidays over the years, I hadn’t visited consistently until Lily came into the world. I realized that I wanted my daughter to experience the lakes and rivers of my youth and to grow up knowing her grandma, aunts, uncles, and cousins. For that reason, our family makes

the trip up north every May for her and my birthday, and then again in December for her little brother Liam’s birthday (which, conveniently, lands on Christmas Day). While these visits started for my children’s benefit, they’ve nonetheless taught me an important lesson about what it means to return home. To varying degrees, I believe everyone has difficulties with family once they reach adulthood. My Idaho family and I have very different outlooks on life, and sometimes it feels like we are from different planets. Learning to overcome this divide is hard, but not impossible — you have to learn to stop placing your own expectations and goals on someone else. For example, one of my older brothers is about as different from me as you can get. Although he works

long hours and doesn't make a lot of money, he likes his job because it allows him the freedom to hunt and fish. As someone who felt the crushing weight of rural poverty throughout my childhood and has seen firsthand how it can permeate every aspect of your life, from your education to your sense of self- worth, it’s hard for me to understand this mindset. What I came to realize is that we’re just operating on two different paradigms for success. For my brother, living without attachments is his definition of freedom, and I can respect that. Learning not to project your own beliefs and perspectives on other people can be tough, especially when they’re family. For me, learning to understand where my family is coming Continued on page 2 ...

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