Being Positive | Unicorns Don’t Always Poop Rainbows

Dear Kid,

I’m a reasonably positive person. Actually, I’m an incredibly positive person.

My superpower is an insane ability to quickly forget the bad stuff that goes on around me. (Unless you’ve personally hurt me in which case I will carry resentment with me like an ugly purse for the rest of my days.)

I'm generally a positive person, but I also believe it is important to recognize that things don’t always turn out the way we want. DearKidLoveMom.comBut life is not always rainbows and chocolate. The only time you’re guaranteed pink champagne and roses is if you order them. Or if you win the Kentucky Derby. And even then I’m not sure about the pink champagne.

Is it completely unfair that the people get the champagne and the horse who did all the work and all the winning just has to lug around the flowers?

Back to my point: I’m generally a positive person.

And I generally prefer to focus on positive things. Funny things. Cute animal videos with little to no social value. And coffee.

But I also believe it is important to recognize that things don’t always turn out the way we want. People don’t always recognize our brilliance (which is highly annoying, because duh). We don’t always get the grade, or job, or gift we’ve been wanting/hoping for/expecting.

And yet.

And yet we retain the power to see the world the way we choose to see it. We retain the ability to write and rewrite our future if not our past (yes, we can re-write our future—if we work at it).

So I’m going to stick with seeing the happy (at least most of the time). And know that there are people who will love me and hug me when I can’t.

And make another cup of coffee.

Love, Mom

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It’s Not All Roses and Pink Champagne

Dear Kid,

Not everyone has a smashingly successful first semester at college. (For the record, I’m not talking about your sister—she had a great fall semester.)

College isn't roses and pink champagne all the time. I really admire the college kid who posted honestly that it was not the experience she’d hoped it would be. DearKidLoveMom.comSometimes the first time at college can be a time of difficult adjustment. A time of figuring out how to be on your own for the first time. A time of meeting all new people for the first time since Kindergarten. A time of all new classes and having to figure out a new way to study.

All that “all new” can be tough. And overwhelming.

Some get the hang of it pretty quickly.

For others it takes a while.

For some it doesn’t really coalesce at all. (Coalesce—one of the words that doesn’t come together the first semester of college. Does not have anything to do with what Santa leaves for children who misbehave.)

I overheard (and by “overheard” I mean saw a post on Facebook) one such person talking about her experience. She was feeling overwhelmed (my interpretation) not only of the experience she’d just gone through at college, but by the number of times she heard how wonderful everything was for so many of her friends (and friends of friends).

The thing is, I’m sure it was wonderful for some of those people.

I’m more sure it was partially wonderful and partially difficult for most of those people and they are only broadcasting the good parts.

As humans, we tend to go to the polls (not the voting type—we ‘Muricans don’t do that enough) when we talk to people. Even more so when we post on social media. It was awesome; it was awful. It was the best; it was the worst. OMG, I’m sooooo happy; OMG, I’m so miserable. It was the easiest final ever; it was the hardest test ever conceived.

No one ever posts: Just finished my Calc final—pretty much what I expected.

Because that’s boring. So we either don’t bother posting that one and go straight to something more interesting—or we embellish. “Calc final—Nailed it!”

I really admire the college kid who posted honestly that it was not the experience she’d hoped it would be. I hope she gets the support she needs from her friends and family. And I hope she find the right experience as she goes forward.

Love, Mom

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Going to Cleveland!

Dear Kid,

We’re off to see the wizard!

Well, we’re off to Cleveland, and the road is likely to be more white than yellow, but the song is in my heart anyway.

Dear Burglars: The Extremely Vicious Dog and Even More Vicious Dog Sitter are watching the house. Also there is nothing there to take except dirty laundry.

Since we’re off to an Exotic Locale, I decided to consult My Friend the Internet to see what interesting things I could learn about Cleveland.

You know the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is there, but did you know that the phrase “rock and roll” was invented in the early 1950s by a DJ in Cleveland?

Superman was born in Cleveland and potato chips were first mass produced in Cleveland. There is no proven connection between the two. The modern golf ball was invented in Cleveland. So were Life Savers candies. And Chef Boyardee. And the padded bicycle seat. Hard to see which is most important.

Cleveland was named after General Moses Cleaveland, but “Cleaveland” was too long for the masthead of the “Cleveland Advertiser” newspaper so they shortened it to Cleveland. Cleveland was the first city in the world to be fully lit by electricity. The better to read the newspaper and to power the first electric traffic signal. And the first crosswalk button to let pedestrians cross.

There is a statue of a rubber stamp in Willard Park. I must go.

Cleveland has difficulty with major league sports teams. It has lots of talented athletes who come together, done the same uniform, and fail miserably. The Cleveland Spiders hold the record for the worst season in the history of Major League Baseball (but to be fair, who names a team the Spiders?).

There are some weird laws in Cleveland. Like you need a hunting license to catch a mouse. And women can’t wear patent leather shoes in public (someone might be able to see up their dress).

There is a Wyland whale mural (one of the whaling walls) in Cleveland.

This is going to be an exceptional trip.

Love, Mom

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Top 7 Ideas for Gifts College Kids to Give Their Families

Dear Kid,

Top 7 Ideas for Gifts College Kids to Give Their Families. DearKidLoveMom.comIt is the time of lists.

The Best Gifts for Dad.

Forty Gifts Under $40.

Twenty Seven Ideas for Decorating for the Holidays.

And so on.

Most of the ideas and gifts involve lots of money, huge amounts of crafty talent, ridiculous tackiness, or all of the above.

Since not all college students are flush with money and/or crafty talent, here is the list of the Top 7 Ideas for Gifts College Kids to Give Their Families.

  1. Do your own laundry. You’re welcome to bring it home. You’re welcome to use our machine. Just don’t expect anyone to wash and fold for you.
  2. Tell us your schedule. We know you have plans that don’t always include us. Please let us know where you’re going, whether you’re joining us for dinner, and when to expect you home.
  3. Recognize that other people watch television. There are Bowl Games. We get it. We even plan to watch some of them. But there are other things on TV and you do not always get to make the final decision.
  4. There are times to turn off. I checked. There is no requirement to have the television running 20 hours a day. There is no requirement to check texts while having conversations with live people.
  5. The house rules still apply. You’re old enough to make your own breakfast; you’re also old enough to clean up the aforementioned meal without being reminded multiple times. When we have a family meal everyone (by which I mean everyone) needs to help clean up.
  6. Try to remember that we’re a family. There will be optional events and there will be required events. Try to participate cheerfully.
  7. Volunteer to help. It would be great to volunteer outside the house, but I’ll settle for you volunteering inside. There are magic words (in addition to “please” and “thank you”). They sound something like, “Hey, Mom. Let me take care of that for you.”

And a hug with a sincere “Love you Mom.” That’s the best gift ever.

Love, Mom

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You’ll Never Believe Who We Saw on TV

Dear Kid,

We were watching the football game.

“You have to CATCH the ball!!” yells Dad to a player who had failed to get anywhere close to the ball in question.

“Tackle him! Tackle him!” yells Dad.

“You have GOT to be kidding me!!” the roars continue.

“You know they can’t actually hear you through the TV,” I say.

“I know,” says Dad, “but I’ll explode if I keep it in and then you’ll have a mess to clean up.”

Fair point.

“That’s better! That’s better!” shouts Dad.

“There’s the Kid! There’s the Kid!” I shriek. “There’s the Kid! There’s the Kid! The Kid! The Kid! The Kid!” The Kid on National TV Ohio University. DearKidLoveMom.comThere’s a time out on the field and the players huddle up for a water break.

“There’s the Kid! There’s the Kid!” I shriek. “There’s the Kid! There’s the Kid! The Kid! The Kid! The Kid!”

“Hi Sweetie!” I yell, “Love you!!”

“You know he can’t hear you through the TV,” says the Puppy.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I think it’s pretty dang cool that we saw you on national TV.

Love, Mom

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