Rules for Life

Manners and Martin Luther King Jr Day

Dear Kid,


Those things that Barney the Big Purple Dinosaur taught us about and that Lancelot reinforced ever so convincingly.

They go beyond Please and Thank You (those are still the magic words), beyond holding a door for someone, beyond using the proper fork and glass. Here is a wonderful article (one I didn’t even write) about manners (or lack thereof) in today’s world.

Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality. Alfred Painter. DearKidLoveMom.comManners are about respect. They are about acknowledging that other people have their own priorities and concerns. Manners allow us to ask people for favors and then thank them for the favor and/or appreciate that they are not able to deliver on the request.

Manners are about respect and generosity of spirit. They are about finding small ways to put others before ourselves. They are about having conversations on a respectful level rather than from an emotional, biased perspective.

While using an umbrella handle to fling a mug of beer is an excellent method for teaching manners in movie-land and comic books, most of us teach manners by modeling appropriate behavior and gently correcting those around us who forget to behave appropriately.

Dr Martin Luther King Jr DearKidLoveMom.comManners, kindness, open hearts, and generosity of spirit are excellent things to be reminded about on Martin Luther King Jr Day.

Love, Mom

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They’re Predicting WHAT???!

They’re Predicting WHAT???!

Dear Kid,

Wait a minute—whose idea is this?

They are predicting snow. People are rushing hither and thither laying in provisions for the impending storm. Milk? Check. Bread? Check. Toilet paper? Check. DearKidLoveMom.comI get that it’s winter. Yeah, yeah. Cold. I know.

But things are getting out of hand.

According to the foremost expert on the subject (Dad reading from the newspaper), not only is it cold, not only are we headed for freezing rain, snow, and single digits, we are plunging into negative territory.

Think about that for a minute.


As in less than zero.

As in less than no temperature.

Can’t be, I say, can’t be.

Never mind what the forecasters and experts and thermometers say, I’m not having anything to do with it.

Therefore, I plan to spend the weekend hunkered down under a pile of blankets with a heating pad, space heater, and large cups of coffee and/or tea, binge-watching whatever I can find on TV that isn’t set in the arctic and playing Word Cookies.

What about walking the Puppy?

He’s not really excited about going out in negative numbers either.

Love, Mom

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Saying Goodbye, Again

Saying Goodbye, Again

Dear Kid,

good bye might not be as easy as i thought
And here we are, back to goodbye.

Painful though parting be, I bow to you as I see you off to distant clouds. ~Emperor Saga

Goodbyes are generally not easy, and some are more difficult than others.

How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. ~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie

I know it’s time for you to head off for your next semester, but—as always—I have mixed feelings. I’m excited for the things you’ll learn and the experiences you’ll have, but I’ll miss you.

Where is the good in goodbye? ~Meredith Willson, The Music Man

Take some time this semester to enjoy being in college.

Goodbyes are not forever.
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I’ll miss you
Until we meet again!
~Author Unknown

Drive safe, sweetie. Study hard. Call occasionally.

Why can’t we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn’t work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos. ~Charles M. Schulz

Until we next see you! Have a great semester.

Love, Mom

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Welcome 2018! Happy New Year!

Dear Kid,

Did you blink? 2017 was here and gone in an instant that felt like a decade. Each minute dragged on and on yet as a whole the year whooshed by.

Happy New Year! DearKidLoveMom.comI will leave it to others (like the great historian Dave Barry) to remember enough of what went on in 2017 to write year-end summaries and reviews.

I’m looking forward.

Forward to friends having healthy babies and sending me videos of babies laughing (not kidding—I expect a ton of happy baby videos, L).

Forward to weddings and anniversaries and birthday celebrations. And to spending time with the people celebrating them.

Forward to spending time with friends I haven’t seen for a while.

Forward to trips and forward to staying home.

Forward to reaching new levels in Word Cookie (it’s my new addiction—don’t judge).

Forward to an even bigger and better Cincinnati Coffee Festival. (Is that Possible? Yes—just wait).

Forward to the Olympics and Olympic achievements by all.

Forward to listening to the Puppy snore. (Cutest noise in the world.)

Forward to new adventures and comforting sameness.

Forward to spring, and summer, and fall (and not so much winter).

Forward to sharing others’ joys and finding some of my own.

Forward (with highly mixed feelings) to graduations and new starts.

Happy 2018.

Love, Mom

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The Flu, The Shot, The Opinion (and Grateful for Friends Even 20+ Years Later)

Dear Kid,

Let’s face it: Pretty much no one likes getting shots.

On the other hand, given a choice between a shot and death, most of us will choose a shot.

Given a choice between a shot and being ridiculously ill (with potentially long lasting side effects), most of us will choose a shot.

On the other hand, given a choice between a shot and death, most of us will choose a shot. DearKidLoveMom.comGiven a choice between a shot and making other people ridiculously ill (with death a potential side effect), most of us will choose a shot.

Which makes the political situation even weirder than you might think.

There is a discussion (and by “discussion” I mean all out fight) in Columbus (the capitol of our Great State) over whether businesses (including hospitals and other healthcare facilities) should be allowed to require employees to have a flu shot as a condition of employment.

I think the majority of the problem stems from the use of the word “flu.” No one confuses “flu” with “flew” or “flue” (or if they do, they’re wise enough not to mention it to me). But the number of people who confuse “flu” with “a bit of a cold” or “the sniffles” annually astounds me.

The flu is an acute respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses A or B. Most people who get the flu recover completely in 1 to 2 weeks, but some people develop serious and potentially life-threatening medical complications, such as pneumonia. Includes body aches, fever, sore throat, vomiting, and other assorted nasty symptoms.

You do not get over the flu in 24 hours any more than you pop two Advil and get over a migraine.

If you’ve had the flu, you understand the difference (still grateful to Gloria for bringing me apple juice and graham crackers). If you think I’m exaggerating, you’ve never had the flu. Or a migraine.

Having had the flu (once was enough, thank you very much), I get a flu shot every year. The pain of twenty-plus years’ worth of shots doesn’t even begin to compare to the death wish that is the flu.

And now there is legislation about the right (or lack thereof) to require employees to get a flu shot.

While I am all for individual responsibility and decision making, this seems beyond ridiculous. People who hang around people who have a lot of germs (young children and the elderly) and/or the vulnerable (young children and the elderly) should have the flu shot. It’s not risky, it’s not particularly painful, and it can save lives.

Yes, I think everyone should get a flu shot every year. No, I don’t think we should legislate that. Yes, I think some employers should be able to require the flu shot (and other delightful preventative measures) as employment requirements. No, I don’t think everyone has the right to make other people sick.

And Yes, I got my flu shot months ago.

Love, Mom

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The Laws of Holiday Music and Cincinnati Cyclones

Dear Kid,

There ought to be a law.

There should be a deadline for when Christmas Holiday Christmas music needs to stop. And that time should be (according to my very scientific calculations) the Day After.

Congrats to the #CincyCyclones on their win last night.

It is now officially time to pack away the tinsel drenched songs until next year. Yes, we can wait until October (seriously? Not even November?) to celebrate Rudolph, the partridge, and all bells (jingling or silent).

Especially at the gym. It’s hard enough to work out to I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas prior to the holiday. It’s virtually impossible now. And now they seem to be playing more of the dirge varieties. Knock it off, people!

Also, I have now officially heard the Worst Ever Christmas Song. Worst. Ever. It’s called Text Me Merry Christmas. The title should tell you all you need to know. I’m including it, but I don’t recommend listening.

What a sad commentary.

I’m hiding under my pillow until Groundhog Day.

Love, Mom

P.S. Congrats to the #CincyCyclones on the win last night!

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