Sorry, Parents. But, Your Children are Listening.


Yes, bluntly and blatantly, knitting sustained me. Yarn kept me alive. When you consider that I was homeless 5 years ago, and the struggles that I endured, then you see the depth of how my life had been a daily battle, but I never gave up.  I wasn’t going to be a victim. I was going to survive.

Here I am 5 years later with another book under my belt, and a new audience opening up, and if I could yearn for anything it is that I might not necessarily be your best choice for a knitting icon (no, no, no, you have greater heroes in that group than me).  Instead, I’d rather have my work be as some testament to survival, self sufficiency, and hope. That’s what my blog and my writing has always been about. Hope, resilience in the face of adversity, and a strong desire to remind that you are never alone. Bad things happen. You face them head on and you deal with them, and you win.

And that certainly is the theme in my new book.

I could have rested on moral issues, could have written about simple things for simple children, but I think children are so much smarter than that. I wanted them to realize that causes bring effects, that denial brings misery, and that truth always wins out. And I didn’t want children to feel they were hopeless. I wanted them to feel that they should (and could!) be brave when bad things happen to them, because, and this is very important and goes against the common grain of what parents are teaching children these days, but bad things will happen. Despite what bubble of protection you may keep them in, no matter what prison of optimism that you keep them in, bad things will happen….but, children CAN learn to handle them, survive them, and be better people for recognizing that. So, this little book of mine could do some good by going against popular thought.


Children grasp a lot more than we give them credit for. We talk so much about how when they’re born, their minds are little sponges that absorb everything around them…..then at some point, we start to act like they don’t hear a thing we say, that they aren’t listening to us, that they don’t see our actions. Children seem to have become less and less young humans that we must impress upon, and more and more like precious collectibles we place on a shelf, shielding them from possible contamination of anything bad, or possible breakage. We won’t let anyone near them, we won’t let them in the sunlight, won’t let them play. And in turn, we mar their substantive minds by treating them as nothing more than protected pets staring out windows looking unable to feel joy, because they’ve never known hardship.

So, I wanted to write a children’s book in the old school tradition. That as beautiful as life is, life can hurt. And if you can tend to the hurt like you can a skinned knee, then you’re gonna be just fine.

Yes, your children are gonna be just fine…if you teach them to be brave.

Signed hardcover of “The Teddy Bear That Saved Me” here, paperback version is here.




  1. Oh, Dear Greg, you are not an Icon you are a person who shows all how no matter what we will survive and thrive! on rough days you make me smile, on good days I want to share them with you and every success you share makes us all so much more connected. Thank you for help me and many others become more human! more in touch with life and happiness. I have ordered your book and am looking forward to reading it, I am currently reading to young groups of children and I hope to bring your book along to read with my other ones 🙂

  2. I, for one, am very glad that someone is not following the idea that children are basically mindless and need to be protected from life. How else are they going to become fully functional adults if parents refuse to let them see and experience life? I had some family members become quite unpleasant because I took the children to a wake for a beloved older family member. I was told I should have protected them from learning about death. How stupid. Death happens. Children know it happens and being separated from the world does not help them at all as it just instills fear of an unknown. The children, now all grown, still mention occasionally how glad they were that they were able to say a last good-bye, and to see other family members who were from out of town. I hope to be able to get copies of your book for the grandchildren, I know they will enjoy it.

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