Publisher's Note, May 2013

Inspiring Starbucks baristaInspiration From Our Barista

“Why be someone else, when you can be someone better?”
Lashay “Alfa” Hordges Johnson

Starbucks Tabit Square on Mercer Island (ParentMap’s #2 official work place) is our quick mid-stop breakfast pick-us-up as Maya (11) and I rush from home to school on weekday mornings. We’re often met by our barista whose contagiously cheerful and energetic smile prohibits my gaze from lingering on my iPhone.

“Great morning Alayne and Maya! How are my favorite customers?”

Flattered, but not fooled that we’re the only faves, we’re taken in by Alfa’s (Lashay Hordges Johnson) rapturous presence. Alfa embodies every superlative skill that the gurus of emotional intelligence describe. Self-awareness, self-management, empathy and cooperation are qualities that when learned, lower the risk of various problems young people encounter, increase their ability to face life’s challenges and facilitate academic learning (“Someone You Should Know”).

Alfa possesses a high CQ (cultural intelligence), along with her high IQ and EQ (“Cultural Intelligence”). This amazing 19-year-old girl grew up in the only Section 8 home in one of this area’s wealthiest zip codes. People with high CQs understand the beliefs, values, attitudes, and behaviors of the mix of people in their community and are better able to adapt and thrive in a complex global society.

With all of Alfa’s elevated I, E and C Qs, we’ll love watching where this remarkable and seemingly unstoppable young woman lands.

Unstoppable also defines the leading relationship sex-pert and intimacy guru Dr. Pepper Schwartz. Schwartz will speak at our two May BabyMap events, delivering a vital message on how to balance life, love and our growing families.

Give yourself a Mother’s Day gift and come see Wise-Minded Parenting author Dr. Laura Kastner who will speak about the 7 Essentials to Raising Successful Tweens + Teens. If you haven’t had the joy of laughing while learning how to better parent your tween, get someone to take you as a belated Mother’s Day gift. This is a calorie free delight.

No matter how your lovely little ones turn out, we all will ponder “what if” I had navigated this parenting journey a bit differently. You’ll gain perspective, wisdom and enjoy a good laugh while reading Linda Morgan’s Back to the future Grammy chronicles.


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