We had a family birthday party this morning. I’m reflecting on the tragedies we’ve weathered, the illnesses we’ve endured, the fun we’ve had as our kids grew up. Now our kids are parents with grandsons learning to value and trust family while testing boundaries and making decisions about their environment and relationships. Talking now with my wife, highlighted that all our kids knew was trust and that we took action in the face of tragedy or setback. Our kids parents didn’t die young, no one was assaulted or abused, they didn’t go hungry. We rallied in the face of challenges – death of loved ones, losing a job, no money. When our son, Mike, received a terminal diagnosis, we took action, consciously putting one foot in front of the other and finding things for others who cared to do. It helps to be busy. After Mike died we tried to adopt a teenager. It never worked out, but these young people clearly didn’t trust, didn’t have solid boundaries, and weren’t able to make choices in their lives. A feature of the adoption program we used was that the teens would be making their own decisions about adoption. The one young lady we would have adopted decided not to be adopted by us. Big step for her. Sad for us. Trust and self-determination: magic levers of best health.