I try to be positive with my children.  Here’s a recent exchange between my 15-year-old son and me:

Him: Apparently there’s room on the bus for the Freshmen to ride with JV.

Me: Great!  I’m sure you’ll have a great time, be a generous sport and make me proud.

Ok, now here’s what was actually said:

Him: Apparently there’s room on the bus for the Freshmen to ride with JV (yes, he does speak formally like that).

Me: Ok, well, don’t do anything stupid on the bus, ok?

Him: Mom.

Me: And don’t sit next to anyone doing anything stupid.

Him: Well, that takes out everyone.

I think positive things.  It’s just so hard to actually say them.

His name has been changed to protect the innocent.

On another note, with my husband taking many business trips it got me thinking about a tradition my brother and I have had for at least 20 years.  I have only been on the receiving end of this because I haven’t been on a plane since the Bush Administration, and that last time I blubbered uncontrollably while the plane got set for takeoff.  But here are the rules: the morning of your flight you must call and say these exact words: “If the plane goes down, tell everyone I love them.”  You can leave messages and you don’t have to call before your return flight.  But you must call the day you leave because – and this is key – the plane will go down if you don’t.

Am reading The Bolter by Frances Osborne.  It’s a bio about Idina Sackville, and, wow, was she a go-getter.  Why were all these amazing, controversial women always in Kenya, I wonder.  Anyway, I am on page 45 and I like it, but someone should spruce up the cover art.  For realz.