On Bears and Balance - January 19, 2023 | Kids Out and About St. Louis

On Bears and Balance

January 19, 2023

Debra Ross

You heard it here first: Don’t eat polar bear liver.

Right now, you are pondering the likelihood of your venturing up to the Arctic Circle and fileting a polar bear, and you are concluding that the likelihood is tiny, if only because the odds that the kids in your orbit will eat any kind of liver are about the same as the odds that they will wash the dishes voluntarily. But here’s why you shouldn't eat polar bear liver if you somehow get the chance: It will KILL you. Turns out it’s hyper-loaded with Vitamin A. We humans do need Vitamin A for healthy skin and night vision, but if you eat it in the concentration found in polar bear liver, your future will be nasty, brutish, and short.

The Polar Bear Liver Lesson reminds us we need balance, in food as in anything. Striking the right balance, though... that's the work of a lifetime.

When I had my first child, my friend Vanessa told me: Remember, you matter too. Vanessa, an engineer who was homeschooling her two very active sons, seemed always to be dashing to get them to this class or that practice. But she said that even though sometimes one boy's needs or activities took precedence, in the balance of it all, it had to even out, for both the kids and the adults.

As KidsOutAndAbout.com started to grow and thrive, the echoes of Vanessa's You matter too reminder battled in my head many times with the evolutionary admonitions of a thousand generations shouting Don't take your eyes off the children! But Vanessa won... as you can see, because here you are reading my column.

And it turned out to be fairly easy to placate the ancestral mothers: I've kept the kids far away from polar bear liver, and everyone is happy.