Shells, shells, and more shells. I was just a tad obsessed with collecting these beauties on my morning walks. Maybe a little more than a “tad.”
Look at them, all beautiful in their own way. All different shapes, sizes, and colors. Some with fractures, some dull, others shiny and bright, but all with their own individual characters that make them beautifully unique. Hmm, sounds a lot like people now doesn’t it.
There isn’t a hateful one in the bucket.
As always, my children thought I was losing my mind as I ventured out every morning to see what treasures the ocean left behind. When will they realize they are the cause of any loss of my mind?
Anyway, shell searching is in my genes. As children, my mother taught us how to comb the beach for shells, and I followed the tradition by doing the same with my daughter. Why is this not on my resume?
I remember sitting in a hotel room with my sister going over our inventory from the day. We would break down our loot by size and style. Yes, serious records were kept with shells & Halloween candy.
Back in the day, we had an abundance of large clam shells waiting for us. That is not the case today. I’m not sure if it’s the ever-changing climate, Mother Nature’s hoarding or the loss of sexual urges amongst the clam community, whatever the reason, there were slim pickings. Feel free to now Google “how do clams reproduce?” I did.
As kids, we returned from vacation with a bucket of blank canvases. On rainy summer days, we would break out our watercolor sets to let our inner Monet surface. Our talents were displayed in our garden for all to view. It was like an ongoing Gallery opening without the wine & cheese.
It’s funny how some memories, no matter what, have the ability to leave a smile on your face. I’m glad that one let itself out of the vault.
The million dollar question around here now is: “What are you going to do with all those shells?” The response: “Something fabulous!”
Now that I’ve set the bar high, I’ve been unleashing my creative juices for this project. Hmm, how hard can it be to rustle up something wonderful, yet not too overwhelming, while meeting all the criteria necessary to be F A B U L O U S? What the hell was I thinking?
After some pondering while scanning the internet for inspiration, there is something on the horizon waiting to come to life. Will it be fabulous? OF COURSE! I’ll be working my magic shortly.
Embrace the differences to create something fabulous in the world. Enjoy the Ride!
In honor of Labor Day I thought I’d share a little something from my first real job out in this big bad world. It was the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of PA. FYI: I didn’t even know what a Bankruptcy was at this point.
I was fresh out of serving my sentence at an all girls catholic high school. At the tender age of 18 I was officially thrown to the wolves. I was literally out of school 4 days so the wolves were sympathetic.
Needless to say my worldly experiences up until this point were void. I grew up in a cookie cutter section of the city. Attended school with a group of girls who were also raised in this environment and my exposure to urban life was slim. Until it was slammed in my face all in one day.
I’ll admit going into this job could easily be compared to a lamb being led to the slaughter, but I survived. My boss was a wonderful mentor and the co-workers … well … they were certainly an eclectic crew. Some I’m still friends with, others just provide flashbacks of shock & awe.
Since this was a Government job they didn’t always hire the sharpest tools in the shed. Let’s just say there were the brains and the who the hell knows whats, but somehow it was a good balance. This is where Judy comes in …
Judy, which is her real name … sort of. You see, Judy was born in India so I’m not sure if her parents were huge Wizard of Oz fans or she just Americanized herself upon arrival. It really didn’t matter to me Judy was easy to pronounce.
At the time Judy came on board I had a good two years under my belt. At 20 I was already a seasoned employee. Judy was a nice middle-aged woman assigned to the desk behind mine. She would be working with me to send out mass mailings to creditors. Easy enough.
It was clear early on that Judy did not receive the memo on this procedure when she summoned me to turn around, because she wanted to tell me something. I had an odd feeling that I was about to hear more than I needed to know when she kept insisting that I roll my chair closer. Baaaa Baaaa …. off I went.
In her broken English she introduced herself with this opening:
Judy: “I once had frostbite on my feet.”
Me: “Oh” Translation: WTF is frostbite? A shoe designer?
Judy: “My toes can fall off at any time.”
Me: ……………………. Translation: Wait … What!?
Judy: “I could just be sitting here and loose a toe.”
Me: ……………………. Translation: Umm, I don’t pick up loose toes!
Needless to say I spent the rest of the day staring into space patiently waiting for a toe or two to roll on by. Once the initial shock wore off I thought that maybe I didn’t understand her correctly through her broken English, so I went back to the slaughter-house for round two. Probably not one of my better decisions.
Honestly, at 20 years old this information could barely be processed. I was not schooled on the health hazards of frostbite. For god sakes I was too busy preparing to marry Mr. Wrong!
Me: “Excuse me did you say your toes could just fall off?”
Me: “Oh …. like …. when?”
Judy: “It can happen any time.”
Obviously this occurred before the hype of suing anyone who dared to infringe on your personal space, especially with their loose toes, otherwise I would be writing this from my beach front home. Stark & Stark missed the boat on this case!
I just continued being a good citizen by going to work with the added unpaid duty of checking my workspace for random toes. No piggy that went to the market … good. All clear on the piggy that stayed home … check. The dynamic duo one with roast beef the other with none … nowhere in sight. That little rascal that went wee, wee, wee …. back at home.
It really is ironic that I now work for a Podiatrist and Judy is not a patient … with or without her toes.
Enjoy the Ride!
In honor of Mother’s Day this weekend I am once again sharing a post that I wrote in honor of my own mother Venita Momma You Were Born This Way.
I am blessed to be celebrating her once again this year, considering she was 37 when she brought me into this world, I never imagined that at 50 I would still have this privilege. Feel free to insert a big ole Awwww.
Mom is now 87 and I am so grateful that every Friday we spend our day going from one place to another. It’s usually food shopping, banking or a doctor’s appointment here or there. Nothing out of the ordinary, but we have the opportunity to be together and that is certainly extraordinary. A priceless gift indeed!
A few years back when my mom gave up driving, on her own unlike my father who didn’t give up without a fight, my sisters and I came up with a schedule to get mom out from behind her four dull walls. I for one can honestly say it was the best thing that could have happened. This gives us all the opportunity to spend quality time with our mother, which we may not have gotten if she was still whizzing around town on her own. A blessing in disguise!
These weekly outings have certainly provided me with a chance to sit back and ponder on my own challenges in raising my children who are now 21 & 19. I have to look at my mom and ask “how the hell did you survive these years … TWICE? See, I have older siblings and my brother turned 19 just a few days after I was born! Yea…let that sink in for a minute…
Just as she was about to receive her “I survived raising my teenagers” t-shirt she had to change the shitty diapers of my sister and I since we are only 15 months apart! I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
Oh, as if this wasn’t enough to warrant a statue being erected in her honor, factor in that she went to work full-time when I was about 7 and was still required by Archie Bunker/my dad to fulfill her “wifely duties” of cooking, cleaning and waiting on him hand and foot. Oh … dear … lord how did she have the restraint not to murder?
I never thought I would actually say “changing diapers and breast-feeding are looking pretty good right now”, but I find myself saying it DAILY and one day I said it to my mom. Her laughter was genuine, but I must admit it was a little unnerving. Then I realized the truth usually is right? You know when there is nothing left but to laugh you don’t have a chance.
- When my mom said “believe me you don’t want him to walk too early” I thought she was crazy until my son started building his own scaffolding to unlock the front door and the gray hairs began.
- When my mom said “let her take her time driving, she doesn’t need her license yet.” Well, I was tired of waiting up to go fetch her from wherever she was, so she got her license. Yea, waiting up until she gets home safely is so much more relaxing…not!
The list could go on, but frankly it’s becoming a little embarrassing at this point. Look, motherhood does not come with a manual for a reason … it’s too fucking scary! No one is going to see that movie after reading the book .. capisce?
So, take time to listen to the wisdom of the
survivors other women in your life … your mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, cousins or honestly anyone with a vagina.
All women are mothers of the world. All of us give birth to something bigger than ourselves. All women are badass and need to be celebrated, so get out there and as always … Enjoy the Ride!
The other morning I came across a reblogged post by Mimi over at Waiting For The Karma Truck that really struck a nerve. Well, it wasn’t actually the blog itself, but Mimi’s comment that got my nerve going. Read on…
I have been having many conversations with friends of mine about what the second half holds. The key perhaps is in re-defining one’s understanding of the concept of ‘doing’ – turning that energy inward and valuing it as much as one valued all those years of externalized effort. Some thoughts for this morning…
The subject of the blog was about aging, a conversation I was also having recently with a dear friend. Calm down we weren’t discussing nursing homes, if fact it was the polar opposite. There were a number of things that brought this subject to the surface, especially our looming “Special Birthdays.” One has already been celebrated, but I must wait with bated breath until February to celebrate mine.
Mimi made a wonderful point in her response to my comment. She said, “I think some of us are just at the age where we realize that we need to move not just to another chapter, but perhaps another story entirely.” Reading Mimi is like having my own personal Yoda around for a daily dose of wisdom. Shit! I hope she doesn’t bill me.
Her words immediately had me thinking about all the chapters and several stories in my own life. We all start out with the same story “New Beginnings” , but the rest, well … they’re on us. I decided to compile a Cliff Note version of some of the more noteworthy stories/chapters of my life.
- Mommy, Will You Marry Me?: When I was my sister/best friend had to go to school and leave me ALL day. In that moment I vowed to marry my mommy. That’s right I had amazing sense even at 4. I knew this woman was the best thing that ever happened to me and damn it I wasn’t going to let her get away. We had two wonderful years alone together before I had to join my sister at school, but I never forgot how special I felt as we watched Pixanne and I proposed.
- Catholic School or Scarred For Life: I think it’s safe to say these two go hand in hand. I didn’t have a chance between following in my over achieving sister’s shoes, constantly being reminded about it every time I entered a classroom and being the emotional punching bag for a group of bitter, sex suppressed woman a/k/a nuns. This may come as a surprise, but I really didn’t enjoy school…can’t imagine why. This story lasted 12 long years!
- Love Goggles: Over the years this story has also been referred to as “What The Fuck Was I Thinking?” and What The Fuck Were You Thinking?” on more than one occasion. I fell hard at 16, sealed the deal at 21 and ended the farce at 23. This story lasted close to 8 years! This was more like a series of short stories that always ended with a clear lesson for the readers, however the author was somewhat of a resistant learner who tightened her love goggles to the point of blindness and missed her own lessons.
- Cupid To The OR … Stat!: This is one of my favorite stories. Cupid certainly had his hands full with me. I walked around with my heart on my sleeve for all to see and when I fell, I fell hard. I went from doormat to a wall to wall carpet while in this relationship, so Cupid had to really push the envelope for me to open my eyes. The procedure took place over a holiday weekend in 1988. Cupid scrubbed up and prepared to surgically remove my “Love Goggles.” He led me right to my bedroom where I saw my husband in bed with another woman…**BAM** they flew right off and I never looked back. There are times when extreme measures are necessary, this was one of those times.
- Love, Marriage & Baby Carriages: After a few years of recovery from my procedure, Cupid put my name on another arrow. This time he dulled the point just enough for me to recognize what true love was all about. After 22 years and 2 great kids later I can say “Thank you Cupid, thank you very much.” This story is still going strong with new chapters being written every day.
- Lisa, Is That You?: Considering the amount of years I spent answering to Mommy, Mom, Momma, Momma Bear, Emily’s Mom, Zac’s Mom and Yo Mom, it’s no wonder that LISA was put on the back burner alongside her underwear. That’s right folks, her underwear! Those cotton sacrificial lambs that went YEARS not being replaced because “Mommy” had to make sure the little asses of her offspring were covered first with their latest cartoon character obsession. Oh, how their big smiles over Rug Rat briefs made me forget all about the missing elastic on my own panties. Until the next Chapter…
- MOM! You’re Fired!: Talk about not seeing the warning signs of this happening. I went from “Employee of the Year” to the unemployment line overnight. All my loyal service and they left me in the dust…with semi worn underwear. Of course they still “need” me, just not nearly as much. I’m proud of the young adults they have become, but I am a nurturer, so I missed shelling out the love, until I realized I had been neglecting the one person who needed my love more than anyone else…ME.
- Who Loves Ya Baby?: It took a few years of therapy, an extreme panic attack, a good honest look in the mirror and the big 50 on the horizon for me to realize that Lisa was overdue for some much-needed loving. Here I am challenging my mind, body & soul in ways that I never thought possible. I am physically seeing changes that make me proud of my accomplishments. I am participating at my Quaker Meeting in ways that enable me to walk the talk and feed my soul, but most of all, I am realizing that I am able to take pride in being whoever the hell I want to be.
Untitled: I’m not sure where I’m headed, but I know I’m going in the right direction and with a lot less baggage. You may want to brush off your sunglasses and be prepared to squint, I have a feeling I’m going to be giving off quite a glow.
Remember, if you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave and Enjoy the Ride!
As a parent watching shows such as Law & Order SVU and Criminal Minds take me to another level of worry. My already over active imagination suddenly kicks into high gear if my children are 5 minutes late. Hell, just watching the local news can scare the crap of you these days.
Needless to say my kiddies think I’m some sort of crazy woman for wasting an ounce of time being concerned about their safety … “Mom, I’m fine stop” and “OMG Mom just put me in bubble wrap!” Hmm…bubble wrap.
The parents of yesteryear, such as my own, may have had their concerns, but they weren’t even close to this level. Columbo and Kojack kept fear to a minimum. Things were just different I guess.
I certainly don’t recall endless lectures about “stranger danger”, however I do remember walking home with my friend and being summoned over to a car by a man asking for “directions”, only to have the displeasure of viewing a little one on one loving … if you know what I mean. Oddly enough I wasn’t scared. Grossed out yes, scared no. Today this story would have been on the 6 o’clock news, but back then I’m not even sure if we told our parents.
Thinking back it seems perverts were actually all around us, including behind the wheel of the Good Humor truck. You may never think of a Rocket Pop in the same way again…read on. My sister, who was giving Dolly Parton a run for her money by age twelve, was presented with an interesting proposition by the one and only Good Humor guy. That’s all she had to do was jump rope for him and she could have FREE ice-cream. Were we running away in fear? HELL NO! She was happily jumping away for her free goodies as me and the rest of the stick figures stood in the distance green with envy. The thought that there was something wrong with this request never even entered our naive little minds.
One, such as my daughter, may say that this naivety is still going strong within me. Her theory, after a few Sociology classes, is that I am so worried about her and her brother because in reality I would be the one getting into the van in search of that imaginary puppy. She may actually be on to something … don’t tell her I said that.
Just a couple of months ago my daughter and I were taking Peanut for his evening walk. Now, when I’m out I tend to greet people, however my daughter tends to be … well … a mannequin. I know! We are complete opposites. So, on this particular evening there was an unusual amount of people out enjoying the weather. Jackpot for this social butterfly, not so much for the mannequin.
A few blocks from home I stopped to admire a beautiful garden. The design was spectacular. You could just tell a tremendous amount of love went into to tending to the needs of this foliage. I do not have a green thumb, so this was indeed impressive. Just as I was trying to bring a potted mix to the attention of my
mannequin daughter, the owner appeared. She was elderly with a very heavy German accent. At this point my daughter was most likely Tweeting away #socialbutterflymom #annoying.
As I was professing my love for her talents, she began picking a few springs from the potted mix explaining that they were herbs. My eyes were the size of saucers! She was insisting that I smell them, which I did without an ounce of question. Of course, not to be rude I offered my daughter a sniff as well. #Idon’ttakeherbsfromstrangers #mymomisgretel.
Needless to say I stood there sniffing away for lord knows how long as I was no doubt being slammed all over Social Media.
We said our goodbyes and I was handed a roadie of herbs as a parting gift. I immediately began lecturing my daughter on her lack of socialization when she informed me I would talk to a stick if it had a face. I wouldn’t go that far … well maybe.
We were walking along as I happily continued to ingest the aroma of my little bundle when suddenly I found myself slammed against a parked car, before I hit the ground. I become very dizzy. Well guess who suddenly came to life as I was laying on the ground like a porpoise? The mannequin!
There I was with my knees scraped, still holding onto my herb roadie in shock when I hear these comforting words being screamed at me … “Mom! OMG, this is what you get for taking things from strangers! You are the only one in our family who would get in a car filled with duct tape and knives! I couldn’t deny she was right in her conclusion, but I certainly wasn’t about to reveal that I would most likely be suggesting a quick stop at Home Depot to my abductor. You know for the rope and tarp he forgot to pick up.
In the end I was fine and we got a good laugh out of it all. I can not deny that if I miraculously came upon a house made of sweets I would be chowing down on a chocolate shingle without a care in the world. I tend to see the good, not the oven large enough to fit a human. Enjoy the Ride!
It’s so funny that this subject should come up today, because I was just thinking about it this morning…when I was being my bright-eyed bushy-tailed self. As most of you know we have a new addition to our family, Peanut the Maltipoo. I bring this to your attention because he was reason for my early bird thought this morning. Peanut and I are the first to get up in the house, which is great since we both seem to leave our beds with the same attitude … wide awake and ready to go.
I don’t require coffee or anything else for that matter to “wake-up.” No alarm clock or wake-up call for this girl. If my eyes are open, I am awake and little Peanut is the same way.
He jumps out of bed with vigor, runs like lightning down the steps, grabs a squeaky toy and is ready to play. Minus the squeaky toy, that’s pretty much my routine as well.
This stems back to my childhood when my father would bellow up the stairs “Hey! Are you going
to sleep your lives aways up there? I’ve been up with the chickens.” Um, number one it was 6 a.m. and number 2 I never saw a chicken around the house.” This was bellowed almost every day of my young life and before I knew it I was up feeding those invisible chickens too!
Thank goodness I married another early bird, which produced 2 more early risers to the flock…actually 3 if you count Peanut, because if I’ve learned anything in this world, it’s that non-early birds really don’t quite get our perkiness. They don’t care to talk or even mumble for that matter until the sun is up and rolling for at least 4 hours. Hint: If you’re going on vacation with other people a pre-screening is highly recommended.
Doing my research for this little piece I’ve come to learn that the early birds really are a minority. I’ve seen hateful t-shirts, coffee mugs (how ironic), bumper stickers and last but not least an endless array of memes filled with death threats from the non-morning crew. There were some stooping as low as using babies and kittens to spread their evil messages.
Another road traveled by the non-morning crew is the mother of all mornings. Yep, you guessed it MONDAY. Whew, you want to talk about a bad wrap, this is it.
Who cares that it’s Monday? Honestly, if Monday weren’t Monday than the baton would be passed onto Tuesday. The party has to get started at some point..whether we like it or not so make the most of it.
I’m an Early Bird, always have been and probably always will be. I guess I will continue to get the worm while those Night Owls get the tequila. If we were all the same the world be so droll.
It doesn’t matter if it’s sun up or sun down as long as you … Enjoy the Ride!
You’ve been asked to do a five-minute presentation to a group of young schoolchildren on the topic of your choice. Describe your presentation.
Kids: In unison …. G R E A T!
Me: Today I’m here to fill you in on some truths about being a grown-up. Oh, no not the lies the world is selling you, the TRUTH. Growing Up Is A Trap. How many of you already knew it was a trap?
Kids: The sound of chirping crickets filled the air.
Me: First of all don’t be in such a hurry to get there, you’ll be very disappointed. Honestly, it’s not that great. Of course there are some perks like driving, sex & drinking….but, you know what kids? They don’t last forever and if we’re being honest here, which we are, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be…seriously. All of these things can be great, but they can also get you in BIG trouble. Not the “go to your room” kind of trouble, but the “time to go back to your cell” kind of trouble.
Kid: My mom said ….
Me: Your mom is lying.
Me: But nothing kid! I told you I’m here to fill you in on the big secret of life. Are you ready? Every grown-up you see, even good ole grandma & grandpa, mom, dad, teachers … all of them, wish for ONE thing….Interruption…What? You with the hand waving like you’re putting out a fire…what?
Kid: My grandma wishes she could walk faster.
Me: I’m sure she does kid, I’m sure she does. Do you know why? Put your hands down, there is no need to guess because that’s what I’m here to tell you…All grown-ups wish they were kids…just like you. That’s right guys, they want to play in the dirt without a care in the world.
Kid: My dad doesn’t like when I get dirty.
Me: Yes he does, he’s just jealous. I bet your parents don’t like when you run around the house like energizer bunnies do they?
Kids: In unison …. NOOOOOOO!
Me: That’s because once again they are jealous. Do you get it kids? Every time you do something they can’t do, because they’re too big and it’s no longer acceptable, they get angry at you. Have any of you ever destroyed something in your house, but because you are so darn cute you got away with it? You, all the way in the back with the pointy tail and horns..what did you do?
Kid: One time, I um, emptied a case of bottled water in the driveway to make mud for my trucks and when my mom asked me “what happened to all the water?” I told her “I drank it” with a straight face and she smiled.
Me: Great example kid and kudos for the straight face…well-played, well-played indeed. Now, just imagine if your dad did that, what do you think would have happened? Ok, don’t get your pigtails in a knot, what would your mom do?
Kid: First she would tell my dad how stupid it was, then she would probably post about it on Facebook so all her friends could agree that my dad did a stupid thing and then she would just talk in “one words.”
Me: Your mom sounds lovely and pretty much dead on in this case. See, when you’re a grown-up you’re no longer cute…your just big, hairy and well, stupid. So, do you understand the message here kids?
Me: Do you see how important it is to be a kid as long as you possibly can?
Me: So what are you going to so about growing up kids?
Kids: Respectfully decline. Never forget our inner child. Learn how to act in public. Have the courage to become who we really are and Enjoy the Ride!
The Tooth Fairy (or Easter Bunny, or Santa Claus . . .): a fun and harmless fiction, or a pointless justification for lying to children?
This is a great question, one I have been pondering for quite some time actually. I will be the first to admit that the single, childless me may have frowned upon setting the wee ones up for a disappointment. However, the married mother of a 3-year-old me found herself asking “Why can’t Santa make an appearance during all 4 seasons?” Santa threats are what mothers consider…. Leverage.
Oh, put your judgments away folks. I don’t care what anyone says, there is NO and I repeat NO negotiating with a 3-year-old who made the executive decision to let you know in a big way, that they no longer want to be shopping with you and NOTHING gets them out of their human plank position in the middle of the Mall faster than those 2 glorious words…Santa’s Watching.
Personally, I was never a fan of the Easter Bunny. The thought of a giant rodent coming into our house really didn’t bring on the warm & fuzzies, it sort of just scared the crap out of me. I never elaborated on his existence, probably due to my own phobias about that big ugly impersonator they have at the mall. If you ever need a good photo of a frightened child, just spend a few minutes at that display. I don’t find this one fun, harmless or a useful parenting tool…it’s just weird & scary.
Ah, my girl the Tooth Fairy, now this little lady rocks. I love the concept of a little fairy bringing cash in the middle of the night. Sadly she only works for teeth. I know when I was a kid I couldn’t wait to wake up to a nice shiny quarter or dime under my pillow. However, just this week I heard she is handing out an average of $2.50 per tooth. Makes one want to consider some extractions now doesn’t it? It’s 80.00 for a set of chops in case you were digging out the calculator.
My FAVORITE Tooth Fairy story is when I broke the news to my son. He was sitting in the back of the car, drilling me as if I were on trial, about the whereabouts of the Tooth Fairy. My daughter, who is just about 2 years older, let out a “Mom, just tell him!” Lord knows that’s all curious George had to hear before the “Tell me mom” chant entered the vehicle. This kid is notorious for wearing down the strongest pillars of parental strength with his piercing repetitive chanting. So, I broke the news that I was in fact the Tooth Fairy. Immediate silence came over the car.
Ugh, I felt so bad looking at his little face in the rearview mirror. He was so cute with his little glasses and toothless grin that my heart was just melting. Finally I asked “Are you ok Zac you’re awfully quiet back there?” I NEVER saw this coming …”I’m ok mom, I can’t wait to tell my friends that you work, you make the best cookies in the whole world and YOU’RE THE TOOTH FAIRY!” Needless to say we had to take our conversation a tad further until it all sunk into that cute little head. He was actually relieved I wasn’t going into strange homes.
Now back to the question on hand. The only real problem I have with this “lying” is it doesn’t last too long today. Parents don’t get nearly as much mileage out of the farce as their parents did. Kids today are hip. I was so gullible believing well into 7th grade, so breaking the grim “There is no Santa, Giant Rodent or Fairy” news to a 13 year-old really wasn’t a big deal. Parents today are discussing drugs, alcohol & sex to their 13 year olds. Which to me is a much bigger deal!
Lying about fun and harmless fiction is not an issue, however lying about your child’s age to open a Facebook account is. The legal age is 13! Children today are already lacking a childhood, or my definition of one anyway, so lets hang on to what we can these days. We already have technology & academic pressure pushing the fantasy of childhood right out the door as it is, so if telling a few tales to ignite some good old imagination, I say bring it on. There’s plenty of time to be grown-up…let kids be kids and Enjoy the Ride! (In the slow lane)