Thursday, February 20, 2014

50 Super Quick Things I Want My Kindergartener to Know on Her 100th Day

Today my daughter hits a big milestone.  And while I may have little understanding of why the 100th day of Kindergarten is such a grand ordeal, I recognize that it is one to her.  Therefore, I want to make sure she has something special to remember it by (other than the baggies of 100 beans, pennies and paperclips she will collect at school).  So, here is a list of 50 super quick things I want to tell my 5 year old on her 100th day of Kindergarten.

1. Read the names of all the Crayola Crayons once in a while.  They are pretty cool.

2. Always wipe front to back.

3. Find an enormous tree, lay at its trunk and look up at the leaves.

4. When you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning I come at you with a big cup and threaten to pour water on you, just like my father did to me.  99% of the time, the cup is empty.

5. You are genetically predisposed to loathe cilantro.

6. No matter what it is, believe in something bigger than you.

7. Get every season of Friends on DVD.  You’ll thank me later.

8. Floss, floss and then floss again.

9. I’ve met Justin Bieber.

10. And speaking of Justin Bieber, “Never Say Never”.

11. Try cheeses other than mozzarella, American and Swiss.

12. A personal email can never take the place of a handwritten note.

13. No matter how many times we brush your hair, it would take decades for it to grow like Rapunzel's.

14. Always have a firm handshake.

15. Be part of a charity, but keep it a secret.

16. Beginning on the morning of December 26th, Santa Claus immediately begins coming to town.

17. Watch every John Hughes movie at least 3 times.

18. Keep your passport valid.

19. Blotting the grease off your pizza isn't worth the effort.

20. Call your mother.

21. If you must take a selfie, do it from above…

22. … but no duck face.

23. Reduce, reuse, recycle and retweet (if applicable by then).

24. Pay parking tickets immediately. Trust me.

25. I’m so sorry for all the times I dressed you up in silly outfits just for a photo. #sorrynotsorry

26. Keep a journal.

27. Make sure your pets have enough water.

28. The most important rule to follow in fashion is that there are no rules in fashion.

29. Don’t use an asterisk in words like God or fuck.  You aren’t fooling anyone.

30. I let you be the last one to say “I love you more”, but that could never be true.

31. Color outside the lines, often.

32. If you choose to get married, try on dresses that are the complete opposite of what you see yourself wearing on your big day.

33. Visit a third world country.

34. Never send a holiday card without at least something handwritten on it.

35. Whatever “it” is, you can do it.

36. Count blessings, not sheep.

37. Read as many books as possible…

38. … then read more.

39. Drivers are most likely to run a red light just as yours turns green, so proceed with caution.

40. New year, new underwear.

41. Speaking of underwear, always check for panty lines.

42. Watch “Stand By Me”.

43.  Living in New York will not make you hard...

44. ... nor will living in Southern California will not make you soft.

45. Remember you are beautiful.

46. Join the P.T.A., even if you do it ironically.

47. Save your favorite pieces from your wardrobe… if I am lucky enough to have a granddaughter one day, she will love them.

48. You will always be my sunshine.

49. Just be you.  No one can do it better…

50. But, call your mother while you’re at it.

Enjoy your 100th day of Kindergarten, and every single day that follows.

Love,  Mom

Monday, February 3, 2014

Are Drugs The New Cancer?

(Props to Banksy)

I remember vividly my father playfully calling my mother an addict because of her need for several cups of coffee in the morning.  I was in grade school at the time, and a bit frightened by his association.

In the years since, I have considered myself "addicted" to many things.  Fountain Diet Coke, carbohydrates, exercise and the Frozen soundtrack are just a few of the things that have consumed me to the point of being unhealthy.  But, is it really fair to call these relationships “addictions”?

Yes and no.

Yes, because addictions can negatively impact our lives in any number of ways, on any number of levels.  And no, because I’d much rather give a two-sided, wishy-washy answer to that question than really debate it with you.  I can speak only for myself.

I think drugs are the new cancer.

But before you go getting all pissed off and tell me that I have no right to compare one of life’s greatest medical mysteries to a significantly more understood and controllable one, let me clarify.

I know the wrath of both quite well.  And while one may begin with a person’s “choice” or predisposition to use a substance in a harmful or illegal way while the other really comes down to nothing more than fate or fucked up genetics, the outcome is quite the same.

You either die, or barely escape death, but always have it looming over you.  (In that vein, life is a disease in and of itself… isn’t it?)

For years many have found comfort (or misery) in numerous variations of the expression that each of us knows someone significantly touched by cancer.  Unfortunately, the same is nearly true of drug addiction.  It is for this reason (and this reason only) that I compare the two so simply.

Forget Kurt Cobain, Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger and, most recently, Philip Seymour Hoffman.  I am talking about your neighbor, your friend, your uncle, your sister, yourself.

It isn’t a weakness.  It is a very serious illness, quickly approaching the point of an epidemic.  There is no cure, and no one is immune.  No one.

The good news is, there is always hope...