Dear Children: Being A Stick-In-The-Mud,


Call it a fuddy duddy. Stick-in-the-mud (which by the way sounds better than being mud, doesn’t it?). A party pooper.

These are all society’s acceptable names that seem to be okay to call someone who does not give into peer pressure.

Guess what?

Your mommy is proud to have been called all of them.

Because sometimes, well sometimes, it’s important to stand up for something you believe in.

And people are going to feel threatened that you might not agree with their actions.

By you refusing to do an action with them, it calls into question their own morality.

People don’t like that.

But you should “stick to your guns anyway.”

This will probably lead them to result to name calling. Those words will hurt. Don’t think they won’t. But not as much as your soul will hurt if you go against it. The names they will call you may cut deeper than a “stick in the mud.” And as hard as this will be, you must ignore them.

When I was a child there was a nonsense little saying that went like this:

“Sticks and stones may break my bones,
But words will never hurt me.”

That saying is ridiculous. Words are the most powerful thing in the world.

You might also notice that in Mommy’s time people were kind of obsessed with sticks.

I can’t explain this.

There must have been more trees back then.

This probably explains the many leaf idioms, as well.

But even back then, people fought the word, “no.”

Maybe they never learned differently. Maybe they just want to make their own choices. And that is okay. As long as you get to, too.

Because you should respect the use of someone else using that word, too.

Otherwise, we might as well all be made of sticks and leaves. And even stones.

Being human is more than that.

At least, it should be.


If your friends or adversaries still will not understand your decision to not conform to their decision, well, I guess they “got the short end of the stick.”
Maybe you could, “Help them turn over a new leaf.”
If not, have more confidence than one can “shake a stick at.”

In today’s terms:






Dear Children: Entitlement


First, let’s start with the definition from Google. Entitlement: “The fact of having a right to something.”

The FACT of having a right to something.

Oftentimes, we confuse opinion with fact.

There are going to be moments in your life, Dear Children, when you are going to feel entitled to have something. And that is okay. That is human. To feel like we are sometimes owed something, even if we are not. I, myself, struggle with this all of the time. You, yourselves, struggle with this. Remember when we go to the movies and the feeling you get when I sometimes refuse to visit the concession stand? That is the feeling I speak of. Or when your teacher decides that there will be a pop quiz and you feel that you should have been allotted more time? That, too, is an example of what I write of today.

I often feel entitled to a cookie after vacuuming the house. That cookie is my reward. I earned it. I singlehandedly fought the floor for its hold on dandruff, dirt, crumbs, and flakes. And I won. I schooled that carpet. It owed me.

But do you see how ridiculous that sounds?

I mean does a carpet really owe me anything? Or do I owe the carpet a right to be clean? Or dirty, if it wills. Is the carpet entitled to be as dirty as it would like to be? Is the vacuum entitled to refuse to clean it?

And so you see, children, how very, very tricky the word “entitlement” can be.

Now, imagine we are not talking about one human being and two inanimate objects, but rather three human beings instead. Can you imagine what the world would be like?

I imagine it would be a constant shriek and rumble of these three sentences:

“It’s mine!”

“I earned it!”

“I got it first!”

I recently went somewhere and I was appalled by the behavior of persons that would call themselves adults. And I was appalled by my own behavior. Because I sat there for a time and agreed with those people.

Yes, you are right. We do deserve this. I found myself nodding in agreement. I was entitled to be mad. I was entitled to feel that somebody owed me. I became a wretched human being. I heard, This is what we were promised.

And Everyone knows you can’t break a promise.

I went into the situation feeling very entitled. And I left feeling disgusted. And confused.

Because didn’t I have a right to feel this way? Wasn’t I entitled to it?

I decided to break it down to avoid confusion. For both myself and for you.

Here is what you are entitled to:

A lawyer if you are arrested (and an inconsolable mother if that is the case).

An opinion. As long as you recognize it is not a fact.

An item if you purchased it.

The air you breathe if the Earth allows it.

Your feelings.

A refund if it states so on the receipt.

Your Constitutional Rights as provided and dictated by the law.

To be compensated for the work that you do. Except for volunteer work.

To make your own decisions when you turn eighteen.

Your body.

That about sums it up.

Doesn’t it seem like there should be so much more?

Unfortunately, there is not.

And that is what leads to the chaos that is that word.

Because everyone thinks they have more rights than they do. They are entitled to more.

The world is full of entitled people. Who are raising entitled children. Who will grow up to be entitled adults. Each of them, kings and queens of their domains. Each of them entitling each other to be the best. Have the best. Fight for the best. Because it’s their right.

Who am I to think any differently?

Shouldn’t my needs come before his/hers?

Because I earned it. I got here first. It’s mine!

And around we all go on this ferris wheel of words. The unfortunate repeats of the “I’s” and the “M’s.”

Until the whole world explodes with the Me’s. The Mine’s. The I’s.

It is not a coincidence you can find all three of those words in the word, “entitlement,” itself.

It is corrupted.



Other words that can be found in “entitlement”:





Just wanted to see if you were paying attention with that last one.

I will have many more opportunities to redeem myself with that tricky word. And more probabilities of failure. And you will, too.

It seems as though us humans are wired to feel this way.

Much like the vacuum cleaner that was wired to clean the floor.

I will try harder in the future to fight my programming.

Too often when I feel I have the right to something, it turns out that I am entirely wrong.

Even the word “entitled” feels entitled.

Entitled often insists it is the twin of Deserved.

It is up to you to be able to spot the differences. They do, too often, get confused with each other. I will give you a few clues.

Deserved is the one without an “I” in it. And it is usually standing next to Earned.

Standing next to.

Not hiding behind.

May you make the right choice and not demand the choice as your right.




* My children read my blog. Which is sweet. Very sweet. But I also want to know that they are learning something from me besides simple recipes and pretty clothing. These letters are real letters to my children. From their mother. You might not agree with my message, but please respect my sentiment.

Dear Children: Halfway


Today you have to go back to school after your long winter break. I just want to wring my hands and cry. I am not ready for you to go back. I have enjoyed every single moment of you being at home with me. Please don’t tell anyone this. I am afraid they will kick me out of Lazy-Mothers-R-Us. Although I was always too lazy to go to those meetings anyway (Do they even have meetings? Does the imaginary club I invented in my head carry on secret meetings? Must find this out…someday).


How is this school year halfway over?

The other night we spoke of homeschooling. Not seriously. I am not equipped to take on such a task. First, my knowledge is not up to par with today’s standards. Second, because I fear that we would have one hour of studying and seven hours of recess. Because that is what I am good at. This is perhaps why both of you were so gung-ho with the idea.

I asked you both what subject I would be capable of teaching and you both replied, “cooking.”

Awwww… Yes. Who needs math or english or science?

Let’s just all major in mashed potatoes.

Do they give scholarships for that?

Is it paid in potatoes or butter?


We are halfway through. But it means so much more than that. It means that in six months I will officially have no children in elementary school. Both of your schools will have the word “high” in them. I cannot see why, as it makes me feel so low.

And old.


It means that in six months, you, my daughter, will only have three years left at home with us. Three years! How am I ever going to manage this? It makes me want to hide in bed and never leave. And on some days I do just that. The idea of you leaving me is as foreign as the languages I will never homeschool you in.

Last night we gathered together backpacks and binders. Old lunches were found buried in the bottom of bags. A pleasant reminder as to why I joined Lazy-Mothers-R-Us in the first place. Inventory was taken and it seems that of the 2,587,463 pencils I purchased you at the beginning of the year, we have two left. Two! It also seems that both of your folders have been gnawed on and chewed then spit back out and mauled again. How else to explain the full lunches in both of your bags and the decrepit state of your folders? Maybe I’m not qualified to teach you cooking after all.


That is the status of my heart right now. Frozen between breaking in your absence and rejoicing in your return. It is in a stasis period. It seems to be the only thing not moving. For Time certainly has not stopped.

June. I try not to curse on this blog, but there never was such a bad four letter word as that one. The end of the school year. I always think of it as the end of yet another year that you will be with us. But maybe I am viewing this all wrong. It is, basically, the very beginning of a whole summer spent at home with me.

Maybe June isn’t such a bad word. In fact, maybe halfway isn’t either. Maybe this school year is halfway full instead of halfway empty. Oh, never mind, that analogy is useless with anything other than a glass.


Well, we are here whichever it may be. And, I, for one, am not even halfway ready for it.

Is it too late to stay home and make mashed potatoes?

I heard they taste better than binders.

And tears.

Dear Children: The Bad Apple


There was once a beautiful queen. She ruled her land with kindness and care. She loved to travel the countryside and visit with her subjects.

One day while she was wandering, she came upon an apple tree. All of the apples on the tree were plump, shiny, and red. One had fallen from the tree. The queen felt a pain in her heart at seeing the lonely apple on the ground. She picked it up. In its shiny exterior, she saw herself. She was smiling. She was beautiful.

She put the apple in the pocket of her gown and made her way into the village.

The first villager who saw his beautiful queen began to smile. He ran to her. As they were conversing, the queen took the apple from her pocket and began rubbing it in her hands. It brought her comfort to hold it.

The villager turned white. “Where did you get that apple, My Queen?”

She looked at the kind man. His sweet eyes were filled with dread. “I found it on the ground a little ways back. Isn’t it lovely? I dare say, it might be the most perfect apple I have ever seen.”

The concerned villager began to shake. “Your Highness, get rid of that apple immediately! Can you not see that it is filled with poison? Look at its green tint. The edges of the core are black!”

The queen peered at the apple. All she saw was herself. She was beautiful. The apple was shiny and red.

She returned the apple to her pocket and bid the nice man, “good day.”

She mused as she wandered home that he must have been out in the sun for far too long. For this apple was perfect. There had never been one better.

She vowed to wait to eat it. She could not bear to break its perfection.

But the next day, the apple remained the same. And the next. It never withered. It never rotted. The queen marveled at her precious find. She would continue to carry it in her pocket. She continued to stare at her reflection in the smooth surface of its skin.

People wandering by her would whisper to themselves.

“Why does she keep that apple? Can she not see the blackness has traveled now to mar the entire surface? Why does she stare at it as she walks?”

Someone exclaimed, “Perhaps she thinks it is a magic mirror! Look at her, examining her face in its surface. What do you think she sees in it?”

Another villager answered, “Perhaps it is telling her she is the most fairest in the land.”

They all snickered at his joke. And went on their way.

But rumors and gossip travel. Travel faster and harder than an apple falling from a tree. Stories of the queen and her evil apple began to circulate. There was even a story derived from the villager’s joke about a magic mirror.

Years passed. The queen continued to carry the apple. The villagers continued to worry.

In this time, the queen met a man. When she showed him the apple, he lied and told her it was the most beautiful apple he had ever seen. She felt immediate relief. She had begun to question the villagers’ queries. But this lovely man had seen what she had seen. She married him right away.

His daughter stood by his side. Her apple lay in her pocket.

A month passed.

The queen walked one day to the tree where she had found the apple. The tree was still there. Its apples were still plump, shiny, and red.

She stepped into the village where she had encountered the villager long ago.

The villager saw his queen and ran to her. “Your Highness, we are so pleased to see you again. Congratulations on your marriage. What can your humble servant do for you?” He asked.

The queen looked into his smiling face. She saw shadows in his eyes. She saw blackness in his heart. She hissed as her breath escaped her. She brought the apple from her pocket and began to rub it. It always brought her comfort when she felt despair.

The villager began to tremble. “M-m-my Q-q-que-e-en… W-w-why d-d-d-do y-y-o-o-o-ou s-s-still c-carry th-th-that apple? It i-i-is evil.” He stuttered.

He began to back away. She watched him with suspicion. For she knew there was nothing wrong with her apple. She saw his hooded eyes. His hidden agendas. And she knew this villager was the thing that was evil.

She rushed home to her castle.

She began to pace her room. She stroked her apple in reassurance.

There was a knock on the door.

“Come in,” she said.

Her new step-daughter entered her room. She glanced at the apple the queen was caressing.

“Why do you hold that black apple?”

The queen had had enough. “This apple is not black! It is red. It is juicy. It is plump. Why must everyone harrass me about this?”

The girl looked at the queen. She began to ponder. “I will show you! That apple is rotten!”

Before the queen could react, the girl snatched the apple from the queen’s hand. She held the apple before her. And then she took a bite.

The queen gasped. How dare this girl destroy her apple!

“Look at this,”. Her step-daughter said, holding the apple out to the queen. “Do you see the darkness of its core? Can you not see the black lines twisting inside? Can you…”

The girl dropped to the floor. The queen screamed.

Her subjects rushed in. They saw the beautiful girl on the floor. They saw the evil apple with its surface now broken with a bite.

“You have poisoned her! What have you done?” They all began clamoring at once.

The queen tried to defend herself, but they were too busy trying to revive the princess.

She made her way to the apple. She picked it up. She could finally see its core. The bite the silly girl had taken had revealed it. It truly was black. There were green patches tinting its skin. She had never seen anything so ugly. She peered closer. In the still shiny surface of its skin, she saw her face. It was lined with years of distrust. Her eyes were hard and cold from the time she had spent defending this apple. Her lips were pursed and rigid.

She did not recognize herself. The woman she saw was neither beautiful nor fair. How long had she been deceiving herself? She could no longer stand to look at her reflection in its surface. She threw the apple to the ground and fled from the castle.

She ran into a field. There she encountered a farmer. He was traveling home after a long day working the lands. He had been whistling a tune and was all ready picturing kissing his lovely wife and tossling his son’s hair, when he saw the queen.

“My Lady, are you okay? Are you hurt? What can I do for you?” He kindly asked.

The queen looked at him. She did not see the kindness in his eyes. She did not hear the warmth of his words.

She saw hatred. She saw darkness. She saw blackness in his heart. She turned from the concerned man.

The farmer moved along. Intent on getting home to his family.

The queen continued to run. She continued to flee. From the rotten apple. From herself.

Where would she find kindness? Where would she ever find perfection again? Why was everyone in the world out to get her?

These are questions for another day…

For you see, my dear children. The moral of this story is clear…

Beware the bad apple.

Lest you become one yourself.


* I have recently learned my children are googling my blog. Which is sweet. Very sweet. But I also want to know that they are learning something from me besides simple recipes and pretty clothing. These letters are real letters to my children. From their mother. You might not agree with my message, but please respect my sentiment.

* This story is in line with The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge. The challenge this week is a different point of view. Here we have the view of the queen in Snow White.