Dear Kid,

It’s that time of year again.

The time of year when you go to work when it’s dark and come home when it’s dark. The time of year when bears and people would really rather think about hibernation.

The time of year when people worry about whether coffee tastes good out of red cups rather than worrying about the important things like war, famine, and whether it’s legal to play fantasy football.

It’s a list-making time of year. (OK, for me, it is always a list-making time of year, but right now it seems everyone is making lists. Some are even checking them twice.)

We’re making lists about who will do what chore when they come home from college. We’re making lists about menus and ingredients and who will eat what and do not get Aunt Martha started about her cataracts.

We’re making lists about emails to send and cards to write and decorations to purchase. We’re making lists about what we need to take when we travel and what time we absolutely, positively MUST leave the house in order to avoid traffic and make our connection. We’re making lists about getting the cleaning done and the baking done and do not talk about politics with Aunt Martha no matter what.

We’re making lists of what to be thankful for and what chapters to study and what homework is due. We’re making lists of what can be accomplished before the end of the year and what will have to wait until 2016. We’re making lists of home repairs and hoping the weather will read the list and not make things difficult.

We’re making lists of what’s on sale when and whether we can live without a muffin pan that lets you bake 48 mini muffins at once. We’re making lists of which doctor appointments have been scheduled and whether we can still get in for a teeth cleaning during winter break.

We make our lists, knowing that some of the things will get done and some will almost get done and some will not get done despite our best efforts. But we do what we can and decide to celebrate being with the people we love rather than fretting about whether we have enough decorations. (We still hope no one brings up the presidential debates with Aunt Martha.)

And for the record, coffee tastes the same no matter what color cup you drink from. Ditto for the design on the cup. To all those who are fretting about it, get over yourselves.

Love, Mom