Thank you Blake Leonard

By Angel Kane

So most Sundays, I sit and write my articles. The columns Becky and I pen are not Pulitzer Prize-winning prose but just something meant for fun and fluff.

This week our middle child finally decided on her college of choice. My article was going to be all about our Zoe. It was going to be light, maybe funny and probably a little sad too, because whenever I think of my children flying the coop, I become melancholy.

But this morning as I grabbed my coffee and sat at my computer to begin to compose my column, my fingers aimlessly first scrolled through Facebook. And there, in one of the photos, I ran across a photo of Blake Leonard. Blake is the son of Leah and Daniel Leonard. Leah was my very first friend when I moved to Lebanon. We were neighbors. Little Blake was their first born. We shared birthday parties and backyard plastic pool parties. I have photos of Blake and Zoe, from many a Halloween, when we would walk the neighborhood together.

We moved across town when they were both in elementary school, so like all things do, certain things came to an end. But Leah and I have remained friends. She is one of those people that I can always count on and while we don’t see each other often, when we do, it’s like time stopped.

But I digress, so there was Blake on FB. Leah had posted a photo of him from his Navy boot camp graduation. I hit “like” and scrolled on past.

But then, a minute later another photo popped up of Blake dressed in his finest navy attire proudly standing for a photo. He looked so grown up. So strong. I stopped at the photo and clicked to enlarge it. Then enlarged it some more. He looked a little different than I remembered. He had purpose in his eyes.

And while Zoe picking a college is a big deal in our little life. The fact that Blake Leonard has joined the Navy is a big deal in all our lives. Our Zoe going off to college is bittersweet, but our daughter will be a phone call and a two-hour drive away. And while we are unbelievably proud of all she is accomplishing, I am 100 times as proud of Blake. And 100 times as proud of his parents.

Blake Leonard is doing something momentous. Blake Leonard is committing himself to our country. Blake Leonard is going to protect my life, your rights, our world. He has endured basic training, which in and of itself, is a mighty feat. And at some point soon will be on a navy ship, out in a vast ocean, defending our shores and, oftentimes, shores that seem to have very little do with us but in reality have everything to do with us. His parents, grandparents and entire family are no doubt enduring sleepless nights and overwhelming fear and yet they let him go. Bravery like theirs is something I don’t know that I have myself. While my Zoe will be tucked in her dorm room bed, Blake will be across the world ensuring she wakes up the next morning to the same world that existed when she went to sleep the night before.

So today, on this Sunday, when I should have gone to church but instead got up late and am sipping on my, now, lukewarm coffee, trying to compose a light and funny article, today, I pray for both Blake and Zoe. I pray the good Lord will watch over Blake and continue to give him the courage, wisdom and determination he needs for his chosen path. And I pray Zoe will use her college days to grow into a productive citizen. I pray she will use her talents to make our world a better place.

I pray most of all though, that she will thank Blake Leonard. I pray she will thank Blake and the Blakes that came before him, the Blakes that are with him now and the Blakes that come after him. Because without the Blake Leonard’s of this world, Zoe Kane would not have the blessings that now await her.

 

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None to spare…

By Angel Kane

So the flu has hit the Kane household.

Like many we know, our youngest was diagnosed with Type A influenza. And given all the dire news reports, of course, we were worried.

Thankfully, my husband was able to take him to the doctor before it got very bad and came home with three boxes of Tamiflu.

Three boxes??? There are four of us that live in the Kane household.

“They wouldn’t give me one for you”, he said.

“What are you talking about? They are supposed to give the whole family Tamiflu if one member is sick. That’s what Becky’s doctor did!” I beseeched.

“I don’t know what to tell you. He wouldn’t give me any for you. Zoe and I were with Neill at the appointment so we each got a prescription.”

And with that, I watched as the three other Kanes each took their pills.

“Well, each of you give me some of yours. There is enough to go around.” I said.

“That’s illegal. You’ll have go get your own.” he said as he finished his water.

Mind you, my husband, had had the doctor test him and he was negative for the flu!

So all weekend, as my youngest has puttered around the house with a blanket around his shoulders and a pitiful look upon his face, the other two Kanes have been popping their pills….just in case…they maybe….possibly …..become infected.

To say the weekend has been strained would be an understatement.

I don’t get mad about a lot of things. But I’m thinking not sharing your Tamiflu when someone in the house has the flu might just be grounds for divorce! In fact, its right up there with using my shampoo to wash the dog or driving my car and changing the seat settings.

Not to mention, for some reason, those on Tamiflu have declared that they can’t help care for our flu victim, because they don’t want to get sick.

“The doctor told us to stay away from him.”

Apparently, because I didn’t have the luxury of seeing the doctor, somehow that meant I was the only one able to tend to the sickly child. So all weekend I’ve been tending to my youngest’s every whim, which has consisted of homemade cookies, take-out from Sake and endless hours of watching “Shark-Tank” with him.

Apparently his Type-A flu has made him hungrier and more inventive!

So on Sunday, as I’m writing this, I’m now sitting at my desk, blanket around my shoulders, slight headache and obvious fever.

“You need to go to the doctor. If you start the Tamiflu right at the beginning it won’t be as bad.” says Mr. Nurse Nightingale.

I refuse to look up as I continue to type.

“Ok. Well I’m just trying to help.”

Visions of using his toothbrush, coughing on his keys, breathing on his phone float through my mind.

“And don’t go writing that I didn’t try to help you. We each had to take our own prescription. There was none to spare. This isn’t our fault. You are quite capable of going to the doctor. Blah, blah, blah…”

Not sharing their Tamiflu is going to be the least of their problems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Red Dawn – The Sequel

By Angel Kane

There has been lots of talk lately about how the Russians may have covertly interceded with our elections. Hitting close to home, there is even talk that one of the twitter accounts some thought was run by the TN GOP may have, in fact, been set up by the Russians to lead us astray.

The ultimate result, of course, to eventually put in a puppet regime to bring down our country.

If you are my age you must remember the movie “Red Dawn”.

A cult classic, 80’s movie, where the Russians physically invade our country. Patrick Swayze, Jennifer Grey, Charlie Sheen were the leads as teenagers fighting against the invaders. The band of kids take to the hills and lead an armed resistance against the occupying Russian forces. In one pivotal part, the teens come across their parents in a prison camp where their parents await inevitable death and as they say their last good-byes – one father screams out to his boys, “Avenge me, Avenge me!”

I still get chills thinking about it.

That was when Patrick Swayze was at his prime, Jennifer had her old nose and Charlie was not that weird old guy that freaks us out today.

Well my fellow 80’s cult movies aficionados, if you haven’t figured it out yet, Red Dawn – the Sequel – is upon us!

I don’t know if the Russians are truly behind fake news or the Trump train but what I do know is that if they are, they have now taken it up a notch. In fact, 1000 notches!

I present you the Asian lady beetle aka those  $#%# flying ladybugs that are invading my home, your home, every home!

Tens of them, hundreds of them, thousands of them!

If you think the Russians are trying to meddle in our day to day lives, to lead us off course, while they slowly take over, then surely my theory may not be far off base.

Think about it??

At first, we didn’t notice them.

It was just a harmless ladybug.

Then they multiplied. And multiplied. And multiplied. To the point that on any given day when we should be working, taking care of our families, studying up on our electoral college, we are instead chasing these tiny, flying demons.

If you are like me, you are now on a daily quest to annihilate them. But as soon as you suck their little bodies into your vacuum – twenty more appear. Out of thin air!

I’ve googled, I’ve called, I’ve taken to FB.

Only to find out, they are everywhere! And no one knows from whence they came or how to get rid of them.

Those Russians are so smart! First the elections, next those gold medal winning Russian Olympic figure skaters (who were actually banned but somehow got to skate anyway) and now, the ever present Asian lady beetle.

Sometimes, it all seems just too much to bear.

And then I think back to “Red Dawn.”

Those of you lucky enough to have been alive in the 1980’s surely recall that at the end of the movie, Americans takes back their country. To honor the teens who gave their up their lives in the movie, a plaque is inscribed for them as follows,

    In the early days of WWIII, guerrillas – mostly children – placed the names of their lost upon this rock. They fought here alone and gave up their lives, so “That this nation shall not perish from the earth” 

And with those words, as read out to me in the closing credits by Patrick Swayze, I’m once again ready to do battle.

 

To read more of Angel and Becky’s blogs go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com

 

 

 

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Be The Change

Recently I was in a work meeting, and it seemed everyone in attendance was in a funk. It was not a work-related funk, but a general “life as we know it” funk. The conversation quickly turned from work to politics, natural disasters and of course, Las Vegas.

It seems that everywhere we look these days, evil abounds.

There are populations of people that want to harm us. From nukes that may reach our shores to wayward souls who massacre the innocent among us. Natural disasters are battering homes and our spirits. Tweets and daily political posts that keep us in constant turmoil.

Conversations about how we go about fixing what has gone so wrong often lead to nowhere. Fixing “it” seems almost insurmountable until you realize that the next move is ours to make, and we best get to making it.

I don’t know how to fix politicians or world leaders, nor do I know how to make someone insane become saner. I can’t make floods subside, nor can I bring back innocent lives lost.

But I can….

  1. Be kind to those around me. I can smile at the clerk at Walmart and ask their name. The minute I do, we are no longer strangers. In a world where so many are alone or lonely, I will take a minute to ensure those who pass through my daily world know they are valued.
  2. Be a helper. I can hold a door, pay for a meal, do a favor and expect nothing in return. It astounds me that there are so many among us who may be hungry or do not have a permanent home where they can rest. Let’s help them. Let’s feed them. Let’s bring them some peace. For we all know that helping them, brings us peace as well.
  3. Be thankful. I can thank the good Lord above that somehow I landed right here. We may not have the swankiest of restaurants or big sprawling malls, but we have something better. Fridays are for football, the county fair is still a big deal, you get caught behind a tractor on the highway and your life automatically slows down. It’s not a simple life by any means, but at the same time, it’s not the life many in this world suffer though. We know our neighbors. We watch out for each other. Good abounds.
  4. Be resolute. I can right a wrong. I can speak up. I can speak out. There is a time and place for silence, but now is not the time or place. We can no longer let the politicians or other people fix things for us. It’s time we fix things in our own homes. It’s time we fix things in our own schools. It’s time we fix things in our own small communities. Only then will we be ready to fix the bigger challenges facing us.
  5. Be the change. I can make a difference. Even a small one. I can make it every single day. I may not be saving the entire world, but I’m doing what I can to save my little world.

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Healthy Living

I’m a sucker for anything holistic.

Some of my first memories are of my grandmother giving me a big, heaping spoon of cod liver oil right before bed, followed by a dose of wisdom. “This will make you smarter than all the other girls,” she would promise.

And with that…I was hooked.

Who needed to memorize multiplication tables each night, when instead, I could endure two seconds of this gross, nasty, magical elixir and just like that, I would know math!

My grandmother was also a big believer in the benefits of fresh goat’s milk. And when I mean fresh, I mean still warm from the utter, fresh. To keep me from gagging, she would add in two tablespoons of chocolate Ovaltine and then place the tall glass of frothy, smelly, awfulness in front of me. “This will make you prettier than all the other girls,” was the promise this time.

To this day, if I pass Ovaltine in the grocery aisle, I have to take a big gulp and look away.

But I continue to be a believer, and so every few months, if I stumble on an article or hear about an amazing superfood that will make me healthier (with no other effort on my part), usually within 48 hours, I’m trying it.

Coconut oil. Check.

Kefir. Check.

Green tea. Check.

Ezekiel sprouted bread. Check.

You name it. I’ve suffered through it.

And most always, I’ve done it alone.

This time, however, my husband was the one who heard about the benefits of apple cider vinegar and wanted to give it a shot. A quick Google search of all this vinegar could promise, and I was in!

Before he could say Kroger, I was home with a big bottle of Bragg’s Organic Vinegar.

This would be easy. I liked apples. I liked cider. And I loved vinegar on my salad.

The bottle said add two tablespoons to a cup of water and then mix in honey to taste.  Are you kidding me? I was weaned on the oil squeezed from the liver of a cod fish.

I drank it straight.

The burn as the vinegar went down my throat was like tiny razors slicing my throat, one paper cut at a time. The taste was like eating a salad puréed in a blender.

This elixir was going to go the way of all the others, but for one small fact.

Throwing away a six dollar bottle of vinegar is not anything Brody Kane can bring himself to do. So instead, every morning, he brings me my vinegar water.

“I promise, two more weeks and the bottle will be done,'” he tries to remind me.

I close my eyes, hold my nose, and gulp it down.

This worked a lot better, when I was the only health nut in the family!

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The Purge

This weekend, we did something that all family’s dread.

I had put it off long enough but finally marched up those stairs.

It had to be done!

I knew it. and they knew it.

And it was going to be horrible.

My pitiful children followed behind me with garbage bags in hand. We were going to be at this for hours, days even.

Yes…the time had come to clean out their closets. Oh, the horror!

The annual cleaning out of the closets is a precursor to winter school clothes shopping. And with it being almost November….I was cutting it close.

How my children accumulate masses of clothes is beyond me. But they do. And by the end of fall, these clothes can be found stuffed in random drawers, under their bed, on top of the armoire, in each other’s rooms, on the floor and sometimes, just sometimes, in their actual closets.

Hundreds of socks in all sizes and colors are dumped in the hall as we try to find pairs. Jeans and skirts they forgot they bought are found. And usually, I’ll find at least five items belonging to my husband and I.

“So that’s where my yoga pants are! In Neill’s closet, why of course!”

We toile for hours, and with each passing hour, I become more and more irritable.

“This still has the tag on it! Why do you have five of the same blue polos? This is my belt!”

“No, I’m not giving this away because it’s ugly. When you asked me to spend $30 on it, it wasn’t ugly!”

“Yes, if it doesn’t fit Madison, then it moves to your closet. That’s the role of the younger sister. She wears hand me downs. Look it up.”

Back and forth. Back and forth. We carry on for hours.

Sometimes they try to escape, and I’ll turn to find one gone. I wouldn’t notice but for the fact their sibling immediately outs them.

“Bring me more garbage bags,” I yell to the one now hiding downstairs.

Drawer by drawer, closet by closet, we fill bags to the brim with too short pajama pants, mustard-stained polos, out of style cargo shorts and shoes whose match is long gone.

We also reorganize, color code and finally see the bottom of everyone’s closet.

Why yes…the carpet is still there!

And at the end of the day, we drag bag after bag downstairs and then proceed to pass out from exhaustion.

Rest up. Tomorrow we shop for new school clothes.

Oh, the horror!

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My Perfectly Perpendicular Box

If you were to look up the word “uptight” in the dictionary, front and center would be a photo of yours truly. And, in that picture, I’d be sitting in a perfectly proportioned square box.

Oh, how I love my box where everything is just how I like it. Nothing out of place, everything color coordinated in muted colors, elevator music playing in the background, putting on my comfy socks on a Friday night, right before sitting in my comfy chair pinning decorating trends on Pinterest.

And being as uptight as I am, when someone tries to dismantle my little box, I don’t do very well.

So a while back, Brody came up with the idea that I should apply for a spot in a local organization that does quite a lot of good for the community. He had participated in it years before and wanted me to join. The organization, while a worthy one, required an overnight retreat of its members, where I would not know many of the other participants.

It also involved a bus ride, where it’s common knowledge, at the end of which you will be required to tell the entire class what you learned about your seatmate. It required a personality test where your entire personality is dissected and discussed. It required countless interactions, games and discussions with those I barely knew. And it required my sharing a room with someone I had never laid eyes on.

For many years, for these reasons alone, I said “No way!” That box sounded noisy, messy and way too close for comfort.

For one, when I’m on a bus or plane I read, don’t talk and, just in case you try to engage me, immediately upon sitting down, I put on my earbuds and hoodie (the international language for “leave me alone”). I don’t need a personality test to tell me all the ways I’m controlling and crazed.

And I don’t play games because I can think of 101 things I can clean with the time it takes to play an entire game of monopoly or bunch. But the No. 1 thing I dislike more than anything, in this entire world, would be sharing a room (i.e. my box) with a complete stranger.

For some reason, I won’t ever be able to fully explain, in a very weak moment, I finally agreed to attend. So a few weeks ago, I did all sorts of things I never thought possible from my little box.

I made a new friend on a bus. It was slightly painful at first, mostly for her, because she seemed to be one of those people who can talk to anyone.

I completed a personality test — that at the end of the day — found me to be judicious and competitive, which are nice words for controlled and crazy.

And I played games that weren’t so bad, except I missed every ball that was thrown at me, which tends to happen when your hands are crossed in front of you.

But most importantly, I shared a room with a complete stranger, and she didn’t kill me in my sleep nor did she steal from me.

My stranger roommate was very, very nice. A former model and diamond broker who now works for a local non-profit, she kept her side of the room neat and tidy, let me shower first and actually went to bed before I did. As potential psychotic roommates go, she was a good one, although the diamond broker M. O. had me worried there for a minute.

When I returned from the retreat, I was met by both Brody and Becky. who seemed so very proud of me for stepping out of my box. So much so, I found it quite annoying.

“I’m not completely anti-social,” I told them both. “I talk to people every single day of my life and lots of people like me.”

“Sure they do,” both said in unison while trying not to laugh.

But I must say, that evening, upon returning home, there was nothing I wanted to do more than put on my comfy socks, sit in my comfy chair and read about the virtues of properly aligning frames on a gallery wall.

While that other box wasn’t as bad as expected, there is simply no place like home…especially when it’s a perfectly proportioned square box.

With Leadership Wilson’s Dare to Dine set for a Nov. 11, we thought it was a good time to share Angel’s Leadership Wilson retreat experience from several years back. Tickets are still available for this fun event at www.leadershipwilson.com.

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The Perks

I’ve been so forlorn lately with the prospect of No. 2 heading off to college after this school year that I almost completely forgot about No. 3.

And then I opened my freezer.

Only to find hundreds of frozen bug eyes staring back at me. And just like that, the school year has begun.

Bug projects, school photos, study guides, homecoming events, never-ending school emails and the list goes on and on.

When we had three little kids at home, my motto often was …. cut it out, glue it down and we are done!

Because nobody has time for that!

The difference though between three kids at home vs one is these days, my motto is… let’s do it together. Just you and I.

Because, at this point in my life, I’ve got nothing but time!

We often go out to dinner now, just Brody, myself and No. 3. We watch him eat, we follow his every move, we hang on his every word.

I was a first born. My brother was the baby. I always thought he was treated particularly well after I left home. Now I’m certain of it.

No. 2 can see the writing on the wall.

“Did you just move a television into Neill’s room? Madison and I were never allowed to even watch television!”

“You let him go to the fair on a school night. What is going on?”

“Are you letting him eat food in the den? You never let us do that!! Hello? Who is parenting him?? That’s his second Coke tonight!! Hello???”

And she is right.

No. 3 gets special treatment. Not because he is No. 3. Not because he is a boy. But because he is my last one.

Maybe it’s wrong. Actually, I’m sure it is. I don’t even care. No. 2 has started compiling her dorm room supply list. She’s made her choice! No. 3 is all I have left.

So while I made the girls find and freeze their own bugs, for No. 3, I’m right along with him as we capture, freeze dry and then pin down spiders, wasps and all sorts of nasty little creatures.

When it was three little kids at home, life was a chaotic blur of fast food dinners, racing between soccer and dance and Halloween outfits that (if I’m being honest) were subpar.

For him, I make banana bread each Sunday so that he can have a warm slice all week. We get to his football games an hour early, just to watch him practice. For Halloween this year, we are hosting a teenage goblin party!

No. 1 has even called home to complain that she is hearing No. 3 is being spoiled.

“Zoe told me that Neill is getting a Polaris. Have you gone insane! She and I had to walk the garbage bins down a gravel driveway all our lives. She said you said it was too far for him to walk!!”

Did I mention that my brother didn’t leave home until he got married at 25? He still lives in Memphis near my parents. They vacation together twice a year and have Sunday lunch together each week.

Now I get it.

Well played, Mom and Dad. Well played!

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What Will They Be?

Do you ever wonder what your child will be when they grow up?

When I was young, I wanted to be either an actress or an archeologist. Considering I never once performed in my school play, I can’t say that I’m completely devastated that Clooney and Pitt are not, today, part of my inner circle. (I mean, I am, but not because I’m not a starlet.)

Archaeology, now that makes me laugh out loud. I distinctly remember telling my parents that no matter what, one day I would travel to the deserts of Egypt to study the pyramids…and they couldn’t stop me! My parents nodded and told me they wholeheartedly supported my endeavor. The reason for their unwavering support, of course, was because they knew the only way I’d be digging in the sand, in the middle of a desert, was if someone kidnapped me and then promptly threw me out of a plane while flying over King Tut’s final resting place. No doubt, digging would promptly

My parents nodded and told me they wholeheartedly supported my endeavor. The reason for their unwavering support, of course, was because they knew the only way I’d be digging in the sand, in the middle of a desert, was if someone kidnapped me and then promptly threw me out of a plane while flying over King Tut’s final resting place. No doubt, digging would promptly ensue the moment my practically lifeless body hit the ground, as I would immediately commence tunneling back to America — home of air conditioning, ice and all things new!

So when my own children tell me what they want to be when they grow up, I try not to take it to heart.

You want to join the Coast Guard so you can fly helicopters above the ocean and be that guy that slowly gets hoisted down into the water to save that other guy in the raft?

On the inside, I want to yell out “No you’re not, that’s stupid, you’re going to be an accountant!” but since I’m an actress…I nod, smile and instead offer words of encouragement. “No you’re not, that’s stupid, you’re going to be an engineer!” (Apparently, acting really wasn’t my calling.)

But with our oldest in college and our second child soon on her way, “what are you going to be?” has suddenly become more urgent. Unlike when I was in school and had to wing it, kids these days have a plethora of online tests and tools that help them determine the perfect career choice.

Gone are the days of “maybe I’ll be an astronaut or magician,” my brother’s top two choices growing up. No, these days, the magic is gone as numbers, statistics and science can tell you exactly what you should be when you grow up.

And while I understand the reasoning behind the testing, maybe there’s something to be said about believing one day you might just be that guy who shows unflinching courage as he is slowly hoisted down into the crashing waves just in time to save that other guy in the raft.

Chances are you’ll probably end up being a risk-adverse accountant (or so your mother hopes and prays), but until then, there is nothing better than the dream of visiting far away pyramids or diving into crashing waves to have you believe you can be anything your heart desires!

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School Year Pledge

School has started, and, to be honest, I’m a little melancholy.

Most years, I’m glad to return my kids to school. And I don’t mean just glad, I mean ecstatic, overjoyed, beside myself with overwhelming happiness that I’m no longer part-time summer camp director, part-time jail warden, part-time personal chef and full-time zookeeper! When they go back to school, my vacation begins!

But with our oldest child already moved out, our middle child now a senior and only one left that can’t drive, I’m growing sad that these school years will soon be ending. Mind you, I’ve never been PTA President much less Homeroom Mom assistant to the assistant, and so I’m also growing concerned that my kids are going to remember me as the slacker Mom I was rather than the Mom of the Year I meant to be.

So while I still have some time, I need to rewrite history, sprinkle their memories with some fake news and make them completely forget all the times I picked them up late or made them pass off packaged cookies for homemade ones, at every single one of their school parties.

It’s time to reform my image. If Martha Stewart can serve jail time and follow her incarceration with a Prime Time Christmas Special, surely I can become super mom in the next year.

In an effort to replace my senior’s memories (and those of her brother while I’m at it), I pledge to correct my wayward ways as follows:

  1. I will not forget to pick you up from school on the days you don’t have your car. Not even once, because that is wrong and also because it seems to be that one thing you guys bring up over and over and over. I get it, you get out at 3, and I will be there. What, you get out at 2:50? Well, therein lies the first problem.
  2. I will make your school lunch for more than just the first week of school. This will, obviously, also entail my going to the grocery on a regular basis, which is really a huge thorn in my side but I completely understand, after 12 years you can’t eat one more chicken nugget. Have you tried Chick-fil-A nuggets, though, because those are soo good? Ok, no — you are right — make your lunch, done!
  3. I will no longer let my son wear girl shirts to school. Apparently boy polo shirts button up on one side and girl polo shirts button up the other – who knew – well apparently most of the 8th grade boys did last year, so this year, no girl shirts!
  4. I will not forget to wash your tennis, soccer, cross country, football gear every single night — twice — on HOT! Because throwing them in the dryer for 10 minutes with a dryer sheet and then Febreezing them is not the same… even though it kind of is.
  5. I will not wait until the last minute to work on your/my project because all that yelling is bad for everyone. Additionally, I will start working on your bug project at least two weeks earlier so I can order exotic freeze dried bugs and not end up super gluing regular old worms and bees to a piece of cardboard the night before. Because that not only gets you a bad grade but more importantly allows That Mom (you know the one) to make a better grade than me/you!
  6. I will remember to sign your agenda book/permission slip/sports waiver and won’t encourage you to forge my name when you call me from the school office. Because the principal has an odd habit of putting me on speaker and also because your dad’s signature is much easier to replicate.
  7. If there is a short period (promise, it will be short) where I can’t make your lunch and you have to eat cafeteria food, I will remember to put money into your lunch account. Because it’s embarrassing not only for you, but for me to get that call…day after day. And while part of me thinks it’s character building, your dad doesn’t think it’s funny.
  8. I will encourage you to attend all practices even if that means I will spend every single day of this next year waiting in my car or sitting in the bleachers for hours on end. One, because I love you and two, because I have a feeling your dad is keeping a file on me and I probably need to step it up.
  9. I will remember that it’s important that I get your teacher a Christmas gift, a Teacher Appreciation gift, a Valentine’s Day gift and an End of the Year gift because when I/you get that last tardy before Saturday school begins, she just might be “resting her eyes” as you slip into the room at 8:05.
  10. I will do my best to not look absolutely pained as I sit through your Academic Banquet, End of the Year Crossing, School Award Program…because you/I worked hard for that PE award, just as hard as that kid who has won every single other award for the past 12 years. Just as hard!

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