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November 2016


Little JoJo and the case of the first grade burdens

November 21, 2016


We’re working through something in our house right now … or, rather, something is working its way through us in our house. I’m not sure which way it’s going to be honest.

When you have kids, girls in particular, you anticipate some emotional ebbs and flows. I mean, think back to those tumultuous times. You get out first in ciphering. The teacher busts you passing a note about needing to poop. You get Danny from New Kids on the Block as your future husband in MASH. You want to play ninjas and your friends are all about house. Your pants split up the butt. Someone points out you’re digging out your wedgie. Those early (and late) school years are a social minefield and you’re just trying not to get blown up every day. True to the timeline, it seems our oldest chick has hit a valley and to be completely transparent, we’re not quite sure how to pull her out.

A few weeks back, on my birthday, JoJo invited me to her school. “I want to buy you lunch, mama!” she offered through that delicious, jack-o-lantern grin. How could I turn down chicken fries and refried beans charged to a card my 7 year old routinely exhausts with bags of Doritos and impulse cookies? I moved a meeting and accepted her invitation.

Now, I try really hard to be the cool mom. Because, you know, I’m guessing it beats the alternative. So, at 11 o’clock sharp on a Tuesday morning, I wedged my old woman butt onto the sticky, minuscule little stool next to my daughter and started working the lunch table.

“Hey Madison! What’s new girl?”
“You’re JoJo’s mom, right?”
“Ahhhh … yeah! Remember, I was at the Valentine’s Day party? With the fruit kabobs and M&Ms.”
“Oh, yeah.”
“Yeah, so, what’s the word? What’s happening in the first grade these days?”
“Well, we’re learning about the water cycle.”
“Yeah, you know, condensation, evaporation, runoff …”
“Whoa. That is so cool.”
“I guess.”
“And Mary … is that you? How are you ya little cutie?”
“Mary, did you get a lot of Halloween candy? JoJo said she saw you trick-or-treating.”
“I did! Like, a lot.”
“Oh man. What’s your favorite kind?”
“Kit Kat. Duh.”
“Yum, I love Kit Kats. So, do you live in our neighborhood then?”
“Well, fun! We’ll have to have you over to play sometime.”
“Yeah, but I can’t Friday. Missy’s having her sleepover Friday.”
“Missy is?”
“Yeah … all the girls are going I think.”

But all the girls were not going. Because my little girl was not going. I knew this because she runs all of her social engagements through me first and there had been no Elsa invitation sealed with a sticker. No call from a mother. No, “Can I, Mom, can I? Please, please, please.” None of that.

In these situations, there are always two navigation options. The high road, which looks something like:

“Oh gosh, Mary, that sounds so awesome. We hope you girls have a great time at Missy’s and we’ll find a day to have you all over soon.”

Or the gutter, which is more of a:

“Oh. Really? Well, Missy’s house smells like cat urine and she’s only allowed to have sugar between the hours of 1 and 3pm. So have fun with your lame little sleepover. I hope someone sticks her hand in a bowl of lukewarm water and she gets a terrible new nickname, like ‘Pissy’ or something even more terrible. We’ll be watching Kidz Bop Live on repeat and hittin’ Reddi-Wip straight outta the can at our crib, sucka, so, smell ya on the other side.”

But that is just so, so ugly. And I’m really trying to counterbalance some of the ugly in the world right now.

Not to mention I think the sleepover was really a minor symptom of a much bigger problem. Hank and I had started noticing some changes in our JoJo well before my birthday lunch. A shorter temper, angrier reactions, more emotional than usual (if one can fathom that), not wanting to go to school. Do I think that Pissy and her party were the sole catalysts for these changes? Nah. But I think there’s a piece to the puzzle there.


Looking at my oldest daughter is like picking up large fragments of a shattered mirror. Not all, but so many of her mannerisms are identical to my own. Perfectionism? Ah, there I am. Trying too hard to please everyone? I see you, Courtney. She carries these pieces of me deep inside her, so I recognize them right away. She worries … my God does she worry. She holds herself to an unattainable standard and it levels her when she doesn’t reach it. If she isn’t winning it all, she’s losing completely. She is her toughest critic. If people don’t adopt her approach, she disengages. Over the years I’ve learned to curb some of my self-sabotaging habits, but my little girl is so far from recognizing her struggles as struggles. She just straps them on her tiny back and sinks.

Birth order is a funny thing. People always say, “Typical first child,” and for the longest time, I thought that was crap. (Spoken like a true youngest child.) But now I’m not sure. When you’re first in line, followed by a class clown who always gets the laugh, and an adorable little parrot, it has to bring a lot of pressure.

I agonize over helping JoJo find her place. She is a wonderful student, and learning, to this point, has come fairly easily for her. But that brings its own set of challenges. She looks at things differently. She over thinks and inflicts a lot of self punishment. She spends an exhausting amount of time and energy dwelling on defeat, large and small. I wonder if she’s hopping around in my footprints. If I’m unintentionally showing her how to slide right into that all-or-nothing straight jacket and tighten the straps.

Hi, my name is Courtney, and I need help being a parent.

As I age and grow as a wife, mother and temporary inhabitant of this world, I’m finding that when you are open to learn, you discover great teachers everywhere. I had plans to attend a mindfulness workshop with my brother a few nights ago and one of the participants, who’d attended the class before, mentioned that she keeps a soft stuffed animal with her in her car. Whenever she starts to get “too in her thinking mind” (translation: close to losing her shit) she reaches over and touches the soft dog. This brings her to her senses, literally – touch, taste, smell, sound, sight – and away from that trail of toxic thought. It’s a mini mediation. It brings calm.

Inspired, I went home that night and grabbed a small emoji pillow JoJo had won in a claw game. (Sidenote: Can they just eliminate all of the gosh dang claw games in all of the gosh dang restaurants and waiting areas already? Can that be a universal agreement? No, I don’t have any quarters. There are no. more. quarters.) I sat my girl down and explained to her that I wanted her to carry the pillow with her. When she felt herself inching toward yelling or pouting or losing her temper, she should rub her thumbs back and forth on the winky face and think about what it feels like. Is it soft? Is it cold? And what it looks like. Is it yellow? Are the threads coming undone? The idea is to diffuse her neurological nuclear attacks. To bring her calm through sensory awareness.

[Experiment update to come at a future date.]

It’s so simple to disassemble and assess myself. What’s working. What isn’t. What takes me off track. What stirs things up for me. But with my kids, it’s like a constant A/B test. In Marketing, it’s common practice to pit two similar strategies in design, messaging, etc. against each other and compare the results. The approach that performs better is the lever you pull going forward. There’s so much of that in parenting, except it isn’t just Choice A and Choice B. There can be hundreds of choices to test. Hundreds of strategies to try.

Is she sad because she didn’t ace her test? I need to help her fix the one she got wrong so she feels it’s complete. Or maybe I should try explaining it a different way. Whatever, she has to get over this perfection thing.

Did the girls in class leave her out? I need to have someone over for a playdate. I need to talk to the teacher. No, I need to tell her about how little girls were mean to me when I was little. I should get her a diary.

Are the other two getting too much attention? I need to take her on a mommy date. Or maybe help her find a hobby she likes. I should have let her bake those dang brownies from scratch. I need to celebrate her more.

It’s taxing trying to be the fixer.

And so maybe we shouldn’t. In “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead,” Brené Brown talks about how hope is actually a byproduct of adversity. If we swoop in and try to work through things for our children, or find ways to numb the discomfort for them so they never have to feel it, we are taking away some degree of pain, yes, but we’re also robbing them of those earned feelings of hopefulness and optimism.

Not to mention sometimes I think that all that mopping up messes and bandaging bad experiences gets to me. Like I sponge up all of the ugly and sad, only to have it eventually erupt out of me and all over them after a particularly long day.

Then, the other morning, the biggest Brené gift yet was placed in my lap with a generous red bow. So I opened it. Christmas come early! After surviving a stupid morning triggered by a 2-hour fog delay, I raced to put JoJo on the bus. As I finally watched her hesitantly shuffle across the street to the big yellow bird, which would carry her to the battlefield to face problems I’ll never see and can only hypothesize about resolving, I hit play on my audiobook and listened as the narrator read Brené’s Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto.The smooth voice filled my car …


And the game changed.

I don’t care what stage of parenting you’re in. What problems your children have, or you have, or this world has, those words are a beautiful, soul-shaking truth bomb. I will print them out and hang them in my closet, in my office and on my fridge. They are the ticket. They are the door, the bridge, the gospel. I want to have them tattooed onto my crowded, burdened brain.

I can not wipe my daughter’s struggles clean. Whatever she’s working through now, it won’t be the last time she has to sort through things to find her balance and her bearings. My fear and worries and apprehension and anger won’t absolve her of adversity. But I can hold onto the hope that letting her work through whatever she’s facing now, knowing I’m standing right at her shoulder, will carry her one step closer to being a capable little warrior of this world.

I will pull up a chair at her table. I will curl up next to her in her bed after the battle. I will let her snot and sob on my sweater. I will hand her a small emoji pillow or a tissue or a baseball bat (whoa, just kidding there). I will do my best to be strong, confident and vulnerable in all the best ways, so maybe she feels empowered to do the same. I will show up for her when the Pissys of the world don’t. And I will work toward being wholehearted and kind to myself so her sweet, impressionable little ticker starts to fill up, too.

(Unless anybody has any better ideas. In which case, private message me immediately.)


Paul’s Boots

November 12, 2016


I don’t know about you, but this week left me feeling chewed up, spit out and nauseous as hell. I’m not going to talk about politics here because quite frankly I’ve exhausted my arguments and understanding, but I’ve slept, stayed off social media, gone for a run, and all I will say is that the world better just prepare itself for the shit storm of love I’m about to unleash on it, starting with this amazing short film REI released this week. Live this life. Love these people. Spend time somewhere magical.

JoJo Just Said, Spike Speak

Sisters say what? (Vol. 4)

November 10, 2016


“On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … seven girls for milking…” – Spike

“Mom, I think I’m allergic to cars. I’m always sneezing and breathing and all of that allergic things in cars.” – Spike

“If she didn’t eat dinner, her bloodline probably dropped.” – Spike

“Shut your nut hole, Spike!” – JoJo
“What did you say?” – Me
“What? That’s a nicer way of saying shut up.” – JoJo

“I’m trying to clean them with my eyelashes.” – Spike, blinking frantically with her new glasses on

“I laughed so much I was tears!” – Spike

“See how it’s a patter-in? Mama, see?” – Spike

“I’m sweats!” Spike

“I don’t think of that. Every night I think of faces on hearts before I go to bed. And sometimes it still turns into bad dreams. But that’s OK.” – Spike

This was Spike’s first week of preschool. She met a boy, and they fell in love. It happened so fast …

“Guys, c’mon get dressed. You can’t go to school naked.” – Me
“Mama, guess what.” – Spike
“What?” – Me
“My face will always be naked.” – Spike

“Let’s make this simple. We should just have dinner on Friday nights like we do with Grammy and Papa. Because we’re sisters.” – Spike

“Look! A forever-green tree!” – Spike

“How was your day?” – Me
“Horrible. Embarrassing.” – JoJo
“Oh gosh! Why so bad?” – Me
“Because my teacher couldn’t read my name and she called me up by her desk forever and it was terrible.” – JoJo
“Why couldn’t she read your name honey?” – Me
“Well, I wrote Courtney Jr.” – JoJo


“I was chasing this cat and it went into the woods and all the sudden it was a bunny. And then these boys, who litter, came up and they were like, ‘you’re a farty fart’, and I was like, ‘I’m going to do all these tricks to you,’ and so I picked up some grass and threw it at them, I picked up a bike and threw it at them, I picked up a stick and swung it at them, and then, they were like running, and then they pushed me.” – Spike
“Whoa, whoa, whoa … I need to find their parents right now and talk to them!” – Me
“I don’t think they even have parents. It’s so sad.” – Spike

“Mom, when your underwear matches your pants, that’s fancy.” – Spike

“So, Mom, what do you think about Hillary Clinton? You know, I just don’t like either one of those contestants. That Donald Trunk or Hillary … Do you? I just think I love President Obama. He’s the only president I’ve known in my life!” – JoJo, sitting with her legs crossed, getting frozen yogurt

“Why are they wearing those panties?” – Girls, watching male synchronized diving

“I wanna see that.” – Spike
“What?” – Me
“That movie. Ya know, Critics Agree.” – Spike
“I think the movie’s called Pete’s Dragon, honey.” – Me

This was an apology letter JoJo wrote to another little girl in the after-school care program after she spit on her. Which, apparently all the kids were doing. All the kids, however, did not try to pay their victim off with one drawn dollar.



To Courtney, with love on her 34th birthday

November 3, 2016


Today I turn 34.

As an early gift from the universe, I had the best conversation with one of my oldest girlfriends last night. We talked about expectations and pressure and our dreams and stress and our shortcomings and all the other hangups I regularly write your eyes off about. It was one of the most honest conversations I’ve had with someone face-to-face in some time. I live for talks like that with people like her. We cruise along on canned exchanges – How are you? I’m great, and you? – but when you really dig in and expose all the sores and bruises and shared struggles, that’s when it gets really good. That’s when it changes us.

Then this fell into my lap, so I unwrapped it:


This pursuit I’m in. This journey I’m on. At the brink of my 34th year, it finally gets a name. I am a woman absolutely seeking wholeheartedness. And man, aren’t we all?

My friend said so many times, “I just want peace, ya know?” I do. I looked at her face and into her well-intentioned heart and I thought, I 100 percent know. Because I want peace, too. Not only for me, but for my children and my family and my friends and my neighbors and the gal who pumped gas next to me this morning.

Whether you call the monster scarcity, as Brené does, or guilt or shame or by some other ugly name, the feelings of inadequacy that we carry on our shoulders all weigh the same and all hurt the same. And what do they get us, really, other than a shared sense of “not enough”?

But I get a wish today. So, here it is … In my 34th year, I wish for freedom from the poisonous lies and bullshit that scarcity whispers in my ear every day. I wish for more contentment and peace and strength. I wish to become friends with the idea that I do enough. I give enough. I am enough. And I wish to reinforce those same feelings in every person I meet.

Here’s to wholehearted living! I’m comin’ for ya …

Try That With Matt

Try that with Matt. Filth filters

November 1, 2016


Disclaimer: If you don’t care for cuss words, STOP! This is not the post for you. I promise I will not be offended if you politely pass on this one. (Mom, I’m talking to you.)

My brother and I were raised by the same sweet, perfectly imperfect people. We grew up under the same roof. We have just 6 years difference between us. We fished from the same pond of traits in the same country field. And while there are similarities reflected in our demeanor, one rises above the rest. I would say if heredity loads the gun and environment pulls the trigger, the powder in our gene pool was definitely packed with profanity, because my brother and I both have a hardy fervor for four-letter words.

In a recent Time article, featuring research by Melissa Mohr, she estimated that approximately 0.7% of the words a person uses in the course of a day are swear words. Compare that with the use of first-person plural pronouns — we, our and ourselves — which we use at about the same rate. The typical range of cursing goes from zero to about 3%, with your three-percenters being the guys in Wolf of Wall Street and zero being … well, nobody I know. Or at least spend a substantial amount of time with.

What does one say, for instance, when they step on a Lego on a 1 a.m. trip to the bathroom, if they don’t cuss? If you’ve ever done that, you know, like I know, that “Oh, phooey and fiddle sticks!” ain’t gonna cut the mustard. And it shouldn’t. One study, Mohr notes, found that swearing helps alleviate pain. If you put your hand in a bucket of cold water, you can keep it in there longer if you say shit rather than shoot.

That sounds like rock solid evidence in support of cussing to me.

My brother worships at the pulpit of profanity just as often, if not more, than I do. I’d say it’s a direct reflection of how we were raised, but the argument doesn’t necessarily hold water since my mom and sister are actually pretty innocent. My mother seriously refers to the F-word as “the purple word.” Dad on the other hand … Oh, Big Rog. As kids, and still today, no exasperating task or exchange went unpunctuated by a JC-bomb from the patriarch of our household.

“Dad, sorry to wake you. Can you come pick me up? I shouldn’t drive.”
“What? Who is this? Jeeezuz Christ. Yes.”

[Dad, lifting a couch]
“Jesus Christ, that’s heavy.”

“Dad, I got another speeding ticket.”
“I mean, Jesus Christ Courtney.”

[Dad, sliding on ice and falling to the ground]
“Uh! Oh! Jesus Christ!”

Our dad is kind of like Ted. You know, from the movie Ted. He’s cuddly and awesome and hilarious but filthy things fly out of his mouth, sometimes predictably and sometimes with very little warning. I adore the guy. I’d also say he offered Matt and I an introductory course in how one curses effectively. We might have missed the day he covered frequency though. We’re definitely overachieving there.

What, you’re asking yourself, does any of this have to do with our monthly challenges used to better ourselves? Well, recognizing our weakness for dirty words and tendency to speak louder in an attempt to get the response we want, we wanted to see what would happen if we tried:

No cussing or yelling for 10 days.

Imperfect as we are, we built in room for error. We kept tallies of every time we accidentally let something fly and the person with the fewest hash marks at the end of the challenge would get a case of beer, loser’s treat.


I grew up with a father that could let it fly. God love him, great dad, but this was before Prozac or Zoloft so every now and again you had to let it be known how you felt. Especially if some asshole stole his parking spot. Or the time I was helping him paint but fucking up his boards, so I got my walking papers. And if you are working on something with him, that son of a bitch isn’t getting put together or fixed without some damn dirty expletives flying.

Fast forward to adulthood. I’m a grownup. I’m Just Matt and I just like to let my filthy mouth fucking go. When DSS told me the challenge for this month – 10 days without cussing, loser buys beer – I thought, man this won’t be that bad. I mean, yeah I cuss quite a bit, but I can shut it down for 10 days. Free case of beer, sign me up!

I laugh as I write this because it prompts me to look back on, not just the last 10 days (which I’ll get to in a second), but my entire life. The first bomb I dropped was on my Grandpa, God rest his soul, when I was just 6. He was waiting to speak with me on the phone and my older cousin thought it would be a great idea if I picked up the line and said, “Hey mother fucker!” Not only was that my first bomb, but it was also the first time I got my mouth washed out with soap.

When I was in fourth grade, I had a birthday party at my house. Me and my buddies called a couple of girls from school. Of course we were on multiple phones and had no idea my mom was also on the phone. I dropped an F-bomb. Mom came storming upstairs, sat us all down and asked who said the “purple word”. (Sidebar: You’re probably wondering why she called it the “purple word”. I know, me too. She’s always called fuck the “purple word” and none of us have ever known why and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t know why either. This from a woman who also used to flip people off on a regular because she innocently thought it meant, “up yours”.) Being that we were all just a bunch of little girls when confronted by parental muscle, we blamed it on one of the sweet honeys we were awkwardly talking to, watched Revenge of the Nerds and called it a night.

Back to the challenge and day one. No sweat, right? It took one hour maybe before I spewed my first couple of profanities, which tend to come from my mouth in nice little bundled packages. That way the recipient can unwrap them all at once, or one at a time if they choose. I found myself starting to say something, then stopping mid-statement because I didn’t know how to express what I wanted to say without cussing. It was so sad! I sat in silence quite a bit. A friend of mine at work, even said, “This sucks, I can’t wait for you to cuss again.”

On the second day, I felt a bit more stressed than usual and didn’t quite understand why. I mean work was busy, yeah, and I’d only slipped up a couple of times throughout the day. I was realizing what a release cussing is for me and I was feeling a little lost without it.


Days 3-5 definitely got easier and I called DSS at the end of one of these days to give her an update. I was looking forward to the end of this challenge like it was an all-inclusive trip to the Bahamas in January. These few short days had taught me that I didn’t need to clean up my mouth. No … fuck that. In its absence I had come to realize and accept my unwavering and undeniable love for cussing. You guys, I fucking love it. It made me happy and got me through the challenge just to sit and think about cursing again. It was like my girlfriend was coming back from summer camp.


At the end of the first week, the competition was close. I want to say it was maybe 11-7. DSS was winning, but I felt dialed in. Until I realized I was heading to Chicago Saturday evening for a buddy’s birthday, I know what you are thinking and you would be right. Yes, I, Just Matt, was completely fucked. I held strong for the first couple of hours, but you can‘t drink for 9 hours, go to a Hawks game, watch the Cubs win the NLCS and secure a spot in the World Series and not throw around some high fives and “fuck yeahs”.

End of the weekend: DSS 9, Just Matt 382

I was ready to throw in the towel and go back to my profanity laden ways, but I went the full pull and kept it as clean as I could for those couple additional days.

There’s a lesson in everything and, in this case, it was that you never know how much love something until it’s gone. I think everyone should try and give up something they cherish deeply for 10 days. Whether it’s food, cocktails, sex, gambling, smoking … I’m not saying that you should necessarily return to these things after the trial separation, I mean, I did, but it could show you you’re strong enough to go without. Of course in my case it illustrated that 1) I cuss a lot, and 2) it’s a huge fucking release for me. I don’t need to yell, beat my dog or push tiny people down. No, just let me say what I’m feeling and I am good to go.

I know now, much more than I did before, that l genuinely love to cuss. I celebrate each and every letter in my entire vulgar vocabulary and it will never be sidelined again. Hopefully you get a laugh out of this. Hopefully it helps you realize that it’s OK to be yourself. We’re human. So just say “fuck it” every now and again and quit taking life so damn seriously.


I once had a sweet coworker tell me that she loved the way I used bad words because it seemed so natural. We all have talents, people. Maybe you can tie a cherry stem with your tongue or do big multiplication problems without writing them down. I can effortlessly swear in a way that would make the sailors on Queen Anne’s Revenge blush.

Cussing for me is not an intentional choice. I’m not making a stand or trying to be shocking or rebellious. It is entirely organic. Whatever that process looks like – from initial stimulus being received to thought processing to sentence forming – my brain has a tendency to pick profane over plain. It’s a force greater than me. My mind surveys the 30,000 words sitting on the shelves up there, filters out all the fluffy crap, and instinctively chooses the ones filed under “censored”.

Picking a favorite is like sorting through the pros and cons of my own children, but it’s a safe bet to double down on fuck. It’s everything; a noun, an adjective and a verb. It’s always close by to lend the umph that I need. It never lets me down. Yes, when it comes to my potty mouth, it is very likely my favorite turd.

There are those who might argue that a woman of a certain age should avoid glamorizing this crude vocabulary. Know what I say to those people? I say, they’re entitled to their opinion. (See, now wouldn’t that have been better if I’d said, “I don’t give a flying fuck”?) I used to worry about being perceived as vulgar or offensive or immature. But I don’t anymore. I’ve learned that a filthy mouth is just part of me, like lip picking and unexplainable baby hairs at the front of my hairline.

A piece featured in Forbes read, “Contrary to the common wisdom, research has shown that obscenity has no effect on speaker credibility but does significantly increase both the persuasiveness of the speech and the perceived intensity of the speaker. It demonstrates passion and passion moves people to action.” So put that in your pipe and puff it. I think it’s all about timing and knowing your audience.

I drew nine tallies over the ten days. It got sticky once I made the initial offense, because my instinct was to follow up the error with an expletive. I had to literally speak at a third of my usual pace, constantly pausing to take inventory of the assortment of words I was about to send hurling past my lips. Do you know how exhausting that is?

But, surprisingly, it wasn’t the obscenities that got me most. It was the yelling. Let me tell you something about herding 3 children, 7 and younger, through the morning routine and out the door by 7:15am. (If you do it too, I don’t have to tell you anything.) It requires yelling. Lord knows I tried. The first couple of days I was so calm you’d have thought someone shot me in the ass with a tranquilizer dart. I cooly and collectedly coached the children to get dressed; to get dressed; to get dressed; to brush their teeth; to get their shoes; to get their shoes; to tie their shoes; to eat their breakfast; to get their coats on. Even if I had to ask 10 times. I did it at a reasonable volume with an encouraging undertone.

But I’m sorry, that shit is not sustainable. By day three I was back to my ole handy escalating request cadence, which kicks off at your basic, “Will you please?” and gradually rises to a DEFCON 5 “Put your shoes on, get in the car and stop whining or I will leave you!” based on the number of times the request is made and the meltdown fired back in retaliation. I just couldn’t put this weapon aside, no matter how many times I reached for the mantra, “Peace begins with me.” (Guru Gabrielle Bernstein clearly doesn’t have any kids.)

At one point in the challenge, Matt called and basically told me he didn’t know how to talk anymore. I felt bad for him. It was like he was lost and robbed of all joy. He was a little boy who just wanted his puppy back, and that puppy’s name was Fuck. While I missed my favorite four-letter friends like Reese’s eggs in August, my longing could never compare to my sibling’s.

I think it’s safe to say my sailor mouth is here to stay. And I’m cool with that (it’s my hidden talent, after all), but the challenge wasn’t for nothing. On those days where I was able to control how I communicated with my chicks, I did notice their response was calmer. Did it take a little longer to get out the door? Um … yes. But is it worth it? Probably. I mean, as long as I don’t miss the bus again because that driver is not going to let me chase her down anymore. It was a good exercise anyway.


I guess if I had to offer anything to summarize our October experiment, it would be think before you speak. Then either choose to calm yourself or throw that filter out the fucking window and paint the world with the punch of the purple word. We could all use a little more color.