On October 2, 1950, man named Charles Schultz published a comic strip titled "Peanuts." Since then, the comics have found themselves in newspapers across the country and throughout the world. My parents and my children have shared in the slice of life lessons offered by these simple yet profound characters.
In my own life, I see my children as examples of Charlie Brown, Schroeder, Linus, and Sally. (Billy's puppet, Roger, could be Snoopy.) They have a friend who tries to keep the peace, making him their Franklin. They have a friend who marches to the beat of his own drum, and he really doesn't care what the rest of the world thinks about him, making him their Pig Pen. They have a friend who is always there when you need him, but he generally stays out of it until he is invited, making him their Shermy. They have a friend who is a flaming red-head with naturally curly hair, making her their Freida. They have a sports-minded friend, anything for the team, LET'S DO THIS, making her their Peppermint Paddy. They have a friend who takes it all in, smooths things over, and her smile just make everyone's day better, making her their Marcie.
Sadly, they also have a Lucy Van Pelt in their lives. She is the girl who always seeks a position of power. She calls them altogether, tells them what to do, tells them that everything they are doing is wrong, then tells their mothers when they don't take kindly to her explicit directions.
I find that I am the trombone-speaking mother who tries to keep life fair, to keep everyone calm, and to keep assuring them that I will listen to all sides before I make any final judgements on the cases brought against them.
If only the Lucy Van Pelts of the world would remember how much they are loved and let themselves be the kind of friend they wish they had.