Rules for Life

7 Reasons Not to Hate Rain (The Proverbial Silver Lining)

Dear Kid,

What is with all the rain? Seriously.

Noah called, he wants people to stop stealing his gig.

Rain is liquid water in the form of droplets that have condensed from atmospheric water vapor and then precipitated—that is, become heavy enough to fall under gravity.

That dang gravity.

I love my rainboots. DearKidLoveMom.comMore importantly, rain is bad for shoes. It’s fine for rain boots, but it’s May already. I had fun wearing my rain boots in April.

April, the traditional month for rain and rain boots; May, the traditional month for wearing cute spring shoes.

On average, we get 256 inches of rain in North America every year. I’m pretty sure we’ve gotten 200 of those inches in the last week and a half. I have webbing growing in between my toes. And I’m over it.

But I decided to go looking for the proverbial silver lining.

On Venus, rain is made out of sulfuric acid. That would be worse than our endless rain made out of water.

It could be snow. That would be worse. Unless we had snow days. (Silver lining! Look for the silver lining! Right. Snow would be worse.)

When it rains cats and dogs, it doesn’t literally rain cats and dogs. That would be worse.

The maximum speed of a falling rain drop ranges from 18 to 22 miles per hour. If they weren’t shaped like raindrops, they might have less friction, fall faster, and impale people. That would be worse.

Rain lands in droplets. An inch of rain on an acre of land weighs approximately 226,000 pounds. That would hurt if it feel all at once.

Rain isn’t purple. That would be bad for shoes, and clothes, and hair. But it would be pretty.

We have umbrellas and rain boots. And we don’t melt.

I can live with the rain.

Love, Mom

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Talking Seriously About Drugs, Drinking, Driving, and Solutions

Talking Seriously About Drugs, Drinking, Driving, and Solutions

Dear Kid,

Enough.

Seriously.

Enough.

The world is going through some ridiculous times, and it needs to end.

Our hearts go out to those impacted by the events in Times Square. And to those everywhere whose lives have been irrevocably effected by someone under the influence. DearKidLoveMom.comOrdinarily, I am not one for outrageous punishments, but people have GOT to stop doing things that harm other people. Like taking drugs and driving on the sidewalk in Times Square.

I don’t know what the solution is to the drug problem (and by “drug problem” I mean people ending up dead, badly injured, or committing crimes—which is a pretty generous definition if you ask me). Right now I’m so upset about the NYC incident that I’m ready to lock people up, throw away the key, and make them eat nothing but soggy lettuce for the rest of their lives. Right now I’m not open to the idea of second chances.

I saw a post from a mom on Facebook soon after the episode. She was pointing out (publicly) that children who live near (meaning within 125 miles) catastrophes should immediately report to their mothers that they are fine. And if for some reason they don’t report in, they should not be surprised/upset/mortified/indignant/confused when their mother calls them to be sure they are OK. It’s what we do. Because you never know what might have possessed a child to travel 125 miles for a particular bagel that day.

The point is, somewhere there is a mother who is not reassured that her kid is ok. There is a mother who can’t be consoled. There are parents and friends and children and spouses rushing to emergency rooms to be with the injured. Meanwhile, the driver has a history of drunk driving. And he was arrested just last week for threatening someone with knife.

We need fewer of these stories (not because they shouldn’t be reported but because they shouldn’t happen) and more stories like this one of a survivor baby otter.

I hope, I wish, I pray someone from your generation figures out how to fix things. Our generation hasn’t. Hopefully, yours is smarter.

Love, Mom

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Understanding Perfection

Understanding Perfection

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward. Victor Kiam DearKidLoveMom.comDear Kid,

There are times when perfection is important. Having your appendix removed, for example. “Close enough” is not something you want your surgeon even thinking. Taxes. “I’m pretty sure I hit most of the important tax laws” is not a good slogan for a CPA.

At other times, waiting until you’ve perfected something is akin to saying you’re never going to do it.

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week. George S. Patton

So what do you say to someone who is a self-proclaimed “perfectionist”? Who is downright proud of always getting the tiniest detail right? Who is never, ever lets something go until it is beyond the most perfect it could possibly be?

Maybe start by looking at the person’s job/role/responsibility. Does it require perfection? Is the person a world specialist on spleens? (I’m pretty sure spleens require perfection.) Are they negotiating an international arms agreement? In a rare dialect?

Then perhaps we can consider the definition of perfection. Strangely enough, we don’t all define “perfect” the same way. My idea of a perfect Sunday morning and your idea of a perfect Sunday morning are likely to be very different. My idea of a perfectly cooked egg and your idea of a perfectly cooked egg are also likely to only have certain points in common. Similarly, my standard of “good enough” might be someone else standard of “perfection.” And my idea of “perfection” might be miles from someone else’s idea of good enough.

The problem (imo) is when perfection leads to paralysis and/or when perfection is impossible. “I can’t launch my business until everything is perfect.” For some people, that means the business will never launch because they will never have everything at their standard of perfect.

Even if you fall on your face, you’re still moving forward. Victor Kiam

The trick in so many endeavors is to get moving. Get started. You’ll make mistakes and that’s ok. Fail forward. Figure out better ways as you go. But don’t wait until you have all the details figured out and all the contingencies planned for.

Unless you’re removing an appendix. Then I’d say let’s go for perfection.

Love, Mom

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Dear Mom,

There’s a problem with Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother's Day, Mom. DearKidLoveMom.comIt’s not when we’re little. Then it’s easy because a teacher hands you paper and macaroni and gold paint and voila! Mother’s Day from the heart and you didn’t even have to wash sticky fingers.

As we get a little older, it’s still pretty easy. We have new skills each year that we can incorporate into an entirely new celebration of Mother’s Day. We learn to express ourselves. We learn to say thank you.

Eventually, we get old enough that we learn how important mothers really are and we really, really say thank you. And I’m sorry. And if only I knew then what I know now. And you must have been a saint to put up with me then (and now).

When we get our own kids, we start to learn that you taught us how to mom and we celebrate Mother’s Day by thanking you for that too. And sending you pix of the grandkids, because you can never go wrong with that.

Some of us grow up to get our own blog and we write joyful (public) letters celebrating (publicly) the incredibleness of our own mom. The next year we try to say all the things we forgot to say the first year.

And then here we are four years of public blogging later, facing a blank screen and wondering how we can say (differently) that you’re the best mom ever and we’re so grateful for all you’ve done. Then and now.

See what I mean? There’s a problem with Mother’s Day? Because how do tell someone they’re better than best? That you wouldn’t be half the person you are without them? Without sounding like you’re repeating yourself from prior years?

Can’t be done.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Love, Your Kid

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Running on Empty

Dear Kid,

Who thought up running? And who thought it would be a good (and by “good” I mean healthy) idea to breathe in car fumes and asphalt gasses instead of sitting comfortably on the couch? DearKidLoveMom.comWe run to the end of the wall, the wall, we run to the end of the wall.
We run to the end of the wall, the wall, we run to the end of the wall.

It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, there was a nice breeze, the birds were (somewhere) chirping, and Pi and I were ruining the whole thing by running.

Who thought up running?

And who thought it would be a good (and by “good” I mean healthy) idea to breathe in car fumes and asphalt gasses instead of sitting comfortably on the couch?

Grumble.

We run to the end of the bridge, the bridge, we run to the end of the bridge.
We run to the end of the bridge, the bridge, we run to the end of the bridge.

Canada Goose: Get out of our bathroom.
Me: This is a sidewalk, not a bathroom.
CG: It’s our bathroom. Scram!

We run to the end of the road, the road, we run to the end of the road.
We run to the end of the road, the road, we run to the end of the road.

Pi: Come on, Mom, you can do it! We’re almost there!

Of course, by “almost there” she meant we were about a mile from the gym, where we planned to work out—after which we’d still have to walk home.

We run to the end of the fence, the fence, we run to the end of the fence.
We run to the end of the fence, the fence, we run to the end of the fence.

Pi: How about we sprint a little? We can sprint to the next driveway and then walk two driveways.

We were in a commercial area. Driveways were 6½ miles apart.

Me: How about we sprint to the yellow thingy. (I was feeling tired.)
Pi: The fire hydrant?
Me: Right.
Pi: Okey. Then we can jog to the driveway.
Me: Don’t count on it. (I said that part inside my head. I am not so foolish as to say it outloud.)

We sprinted to the fire hydrant and then jogged. By which I mean she ran really, really fast to the fire hydrant and then jogged. I ran (much less quickly) to the fire hydrant (arriving approximately 3 hours after Pi) and then walked to meet her.

She’s nice like that. She waits for me.

We run to the end of the trees, the trees, we run to the end of the trees.
We run to the end of the trees, the trees, we run to the end of the trees.

We made it to the gym. We worked out. It is possible (but not likely) that I’ll be able to lift my arms tomorrow. It’s even possible that I’ll live through the entire summer of working out with her. But only because working out with me will generally be her second workout of the day.

Which means she’ll be more focused on me. That can’t be good.

Love, Mom

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