Dear Kid,

I woke up to 60 text messages this morning.

You know you haven’t had enough coffee when numbers look like little people dancing. DearKidLoveMom.comYep. 6-0. As in one more than 59. (See how I do that math thing even this early in the morning?)

My first thought was (predictably) “You have GOT to be kidding me.”

My second thought was (even more predictably) “Coffee.”

Since that seemed to use up my ability to think for a while, I didn’t bother with a third thought.

Turned out (quite happily) that the 60 messages were a running dialog you, Pi, and Dad had last night about the various football games in progress, the ability to sum up most football games with the single word “kickers” (with or without exclamation points), and nailbiter emojis. It made me smile before the coffee kicked in (not an easy trick).

I was thinking about those texts when Grandma showed me an article about the importance of grammar. It will not be news to you to know that I think grammar is important. (Pi—if you’re reading this, the correct usage is “Sophia and I are dying” not “Me and Sophia are dying.”)

It will also not surprise you to know that I am perfectly comfortable with different “proper” usage for different types of communication.

For example, “’Kickers!’ nailbiter emojis” is perfectly fine text communication. Especially when the conversation preceding it has been about a football field goal attempt. It is lousy writing for a news column.

“See ya’” is a perfectly fine communication between friends agreeing to meet for pizza. It is anything except acceptable for closing a business communication.

As the article pointed out, one of the benefits of grammar (besides not worrying about your mother correcting you) is that when you use correct grammar you increase the odds that the person you’re communicating with will understand you. Using poor grammar often leads to “Huh? Explain.”

And while “Me and Sophia are dying” may completely and clearly convey the stress of not knowing the all-important outcome of the football game, I sincerely hope my voice is in her head saying “Sophia and I”.

Love, Mom