The Kool-Aid Kid

My kids love Kool-Aid.

Let me rephrase that. I WISH my kids love Kool-Aid.

Oh sure, they’ll drink it from time to time. But my kids, being typical kids, want all those bad drinks. Stuff like, water. Or maybe milk. And oftentimes they want a . . . are you ready for this . . . cup of hot tea.

That’s right, my son, as part of the new generation of wild and crazy teenagers, is choosing the wild and crazy drink that teens across the globe are choosing – hot tea. And to make it even worse, he’s drinking it . . . UNsweetened.

What happened to the days when your kids wanted all of the BAD things to eat and drink? The days when kids drank Cokes and Dr. Peppers all day and most of the night? And their diets of choice would have been Oreos and Funyuns? You know, the kind of stuff where you could then rationalize away whatever you were eating. “Well, sure, I ate a half gallon of chocolate ice cream in one afternoon, but at least I didn’t eat . . . ” and then fill in the blank with whatever bad health choice your kids were eating.

But you have to understand my son. While he’s only 13, he’s been 35 for a while now – I’d say at least since he turned 7. In fact, I expect him to tell me that he’s become an accountant just any day now.

Plus, he’s quickly becoming the adult in our house. He’s taller than me. His voice is almost deeper than mine, and he’s probably making more money than me.

And here’s another sign that he might be the adult around our place. Every week, he gets excited when the new issue of Time magazine arrives in the mailbox. I, on the other hand, get excited once a month when the new issue of Highlights for kids is delivered.

He’s reading about developments in the Middle East and the economy and new and exciting tweets from our President. As for me, I’m usually engrossed in trying to find the soup ladle and a bee hive in the latest rendition of the Hidden Picture section of my magazine, or checking up on the latest rambunctious adventures of Goofus and Gallant.

But no matter how adult my son might be, there’s still one kid drink he can’t resist – it’s the siren song of chocolate milk. Especially Nestle Quik Chocolate Milk. Whenever, I’m stressed, I’d rather have the chocolate milk than anything. You know how some people after a stressful day come home and have a beer or some kind of mixed drink. Not me! I’m standing at the refrigerator hittin’ the chocolate milk again.

Making Kool-Aid at home is easy, too. Mainly because we have one of those OFFICIAL Kool-Aid pitchers. We got it years ago. My wife was insistent. Actually, it became more of a quest. It was one of those offers companies often make where you had to buy so many of one of their products. Then you have to save the proofs of purchase. After that, you have to mail in all of those proofs in an actual envelope using REAL MAIL (this was back in the old days, you know before email and cars and stuff), And finally, you had to wait for a looooooong time.

This whole chapter in the life of our family took several months. But finally the big day came. The Kool-Aid pitcher and matching cups finally arrived . . . only to disappoint my wife. I suppose after all of the anticipation and build up, there was bound to be some type of letdown. But she was expecting an actual glass pitcher, and instead we got a blob-like red plastic pitcher. But on the bright side, it’s seems nearly indestructible.

The best news of all about the whole drinking-Kool-Aid-way-of-life is that now you can buy it sweetened with NutraSweet or some such thing. So you don’t even have to add all of that unhealthy sugar that my kids seem to be shunning.

So you would think Kool-Aid would be something my kids would be all for. But alas, there’s only one Kool-Aid kid in this house, and for better or worse, he is me.

You could ask my son about it, but I think he’s studying for his CPA. I’m not really sure though. I guess I could ask him to find out for sure. And I will . . . just as soon as I find this spool of thread in the Hidden Picture puzzle in my latest magazine.

33 Things as I’ve Learned as a Single Dad

Being a single parent has been quite an adventure most of the time. And always a learning experience. Here are just a few of the things that I’ve learned.

 

  1. Being calm is better than being upset about 99 percent of the time.
  2. There’s almost always time for one game of something.
  3. Crock pots come in different sizes.
  4. Celebrate the victories. Pizza and ice cream may not be good for YOU, but they’re good for ALL of YOU.
  5. Be ready with a hug for the defeats.
  6. Almost everything is breakable. And of those things, most are fixable.
  7. When kids have a question, no matter how silly it might sound, it’s important to them. Listen!
  8. It’s ok to have sandwiches for dinner.
  9. Or cereal.
  10. It’s amazing what you can get done in five minutes.
  11. Even if your kids are “good,” go meet your kids’ teachers. Especially if your kids are good.
  12. Playing in the rain can be fun. And rarely leads to pneumonia.
  13. Play in the snow.
  14. Then share a cup of hot chocolate.
  15. Pick your kids up from school and take them out to lunch on occasion.
  16. Read to your kids as often as they’ll let you. Or whenever they ask you to.
  17. Going to watch your kids play a baseball game is fun. But it’s even more fun if you take your own lawn chair.
  18. Messes come and go. But your kids are only here once.
  19. Pack a note in your kids’ lunch from time to time.
  20. Ask your kids for book recommendations, no matter how old your kids are.
  21. Video games can be fun.
  22. Cooking with your kids can be fun.
  23. Laundry never ends. And will always be there after doing other stuff.
  24. Surprisingly, kids don’t necessarily always like reading about themselves in a blog.
  25. Go to events at your kids school, even a class party from time to time.
  26. Kids need help eating their Halloween candy.
  27. Always expect the best from your kids. And encourage them to achieve it.
  28. Thunderstorms can be scary for kids.
  29. Go out for a casual lunch or breakfast. Open up a conversation, and then just listen. No advice . . . unless asked!
  30. It’s ok to stay up past the bedtime from time to time. Even on a school night.
  31. Quiet is okay on Christmas eve, and chaotic is okay on Christmas day.
  32. It’s fun to do stuff with your kids during their summer vacation. Even if that something is nothing.
  33. There’s no substitute for spending time with your kids.

Upward and onward

It had to come to an end, but I was far from ready for it to. It was the end of basketball as we know it. Or have known it.

It was the end of my son’s time for playing Upward Basketball.

My son, just before his final game of Upward Basketball

My son, just before his final game of Upward Basketball

If you’re not familiar with it, Upward Basketball is a Christ-centered basketball program played in communities around the country, and is operated through a local church in each area. The program is designed as an outreach ministry to children and their families. But it’s much more than that.

For us, it’s been a chance for my son to grow, to gain confidence – not just in basketball, but throughout his life.

The program is for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade. It’s hard to believe that my son just played his final game.

It seems like just last week that he was playing his first game, without really a clue as to what he was doing. I’m not sure he scored in his first two or three years in the program. But sometime around his fourth-grade year, he became aggressive on rebounding. He seemed to have a way of being around the ball after every shot.

But I’ve never thought he was a great player. In fact, this season I was a bit late in signing him up. After-the-deadline late. I begged to let him playing, saying that he didn’t need an evaluation; that he was average at best.

Only what I didn’t realize was that he had been playing some at school. And that as he’s grown, he’s not only gotten a lot taller (he’ll be passing me by any minute now), but he’s also gained confidence. And his motor skills have improved, as he demonstrated to me in our driveway time after time this year.

When the games started, I almost didn’t recognize him on the court. He was running the court, while DRIBBLING THE BALL!. I honestly didn’t know he could do that. He would drive to the basket, and confidently shoot – not always making it, but the confidence was there.

Preparing for a game in fifth grade.

Preparing for a game in fifth grade.

I should have easily recognized him, since I was the assistant coach on our team. This was my third year to be an assistant. Most of my coaching ability consists of me yelling such insightful things as “Go!” or, even better, “Shoot!”

When I took the bench, I guess I still expected to see that little boy. The one that couldn’t dribble. The one who couldn’t shoot. The one who looked at times like he needed a compass to know which direction to run.

Instead, I saw a much bigger boy, a young man in fact, with his long hair flowing as he ran down the court. Taking long strides – not just down the court, but to growing up as well.

It would be an understatement to say I was proud of him. I was. It was great to see him doing well at a sport that I thought he was best suited for watching on the couch.

But not just for that. It was also great to see how much he’s grown over six years of Upward basketball – as a player and as a person.

 

 

Living with Satan’s cat

As parents, we do a lot of things for our kids: we take them to soccer and sports practices, listen as they practice their musical instruments, arrange sleepovers, and cook them their favorite meals.

This cat is one evil dude!

This cat is one evil dude!

Of course, sometimes we have to do things we’d really prefer not to. Like sitting up with them in the middle of the night while they puke their guts out – I mean, the least they could do is give me some advance notice that they’re going to be sick so that I can have some cinnamon rolls on hand.

But I think now I’m doing something that goes above and beyond the duty of being a “good” parent. Because now, I’ve let my kids adopt Satan’s cat – at least for a while. I say that because I’m sure the devil is going to show up any day now at our door, asking for his cat back.

What’s it like living with the cat from the fires of hell?

He knocked a picture frame off a counter, pushed over a stool in the kitchen, pawed some medicine off the bathroom counter, and claimed the soul of our neighbor’s child. Oh wait, make that sole – it was the neighbor’s child’s shoe. But still, every sole is important, or something like that.

Remember the little girl that was possessed in the movie The Exorcist? And her head spun around 360 degrees, and she sprayed a vomit-like substance across the

Snowball 2 of the Simpsons looks like a prize pet next to our cat.

Snowball 2 of the Simpsons looks like a prize pet next to our cat.

room almost as far as my kids can? Well, I’d choose her 11 times out of 10 over this cat.

How did the cat of Beelzebub wind up at our home? We thought it was an animal rescue, but it was more like trying to rescue someone from the Bermuda Triangle – there’s really no escape.

My daughter’s boyfriend came over one day, and he happened to hear a cat from the engine of his car. We finally coaxed the kitten out, and found what looked like only a small ball of black fur. Little did we know it was a creature that bore the scorching of the devil.

He looked like he was maybe four weeks old. My daughter had him checked out at the vet, and then slowly began to nurse him back to health, feeding him food and water, and taking care of him. It all felt like a good deed.

But as we all know, no good deed goes unpunished. And boy, have we been punished!

He bites and claws the hands that feed him . . . as well as the hands that don’t. He has a tail that looks like it was knitted for a skunk – and he has a smell to match it. You see when he goes to the litter box . . . Well, let’s just say it’s the “Smell from Hell.”

This cat from the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice also belonged to Satan.

This cat from the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice also belonged to Satan.

He hides in the pantry, and when you open the pantry door you see those two beady, yellow eyes staring back at you.

And worst of all, he terrorizes our good cat. Okay, maybe that’s not so bad now that I think about it, but he’s not doing it for me, he’s doing it for his own evil pleasure.

I keep thinking that maybe he’ll get better. I mean, there’s only one direction he can go, right? But the only thing he’s getting better at is making a mess.

Sure, he rips up books, will eat anything that you drop on the kitchen floor (even if it’s your own child), likes to climb into the dirty clothes hamper to use the bathroom. But my kids love him. Or at least, they’ve been brainwashed to believe they do.

Yep, it’s true that we’ll do a lot for our kids, even if it means putting up with a little bit of hell to do it.

The Best Time of Our Lives?

The 80s group Styx was never one of my favorites. Yeah, I liked some of their songs. Like, “The Best of Times.” But can I really take a band seriously that saddled us with “Mr Roboto?” Nevertheless, like many people, songs take me back to certain periods in my life.

It's always a good time when my son and I travel to broadcast high school football.

It’s always a good time when my son and I travel to broadcast high school football.

But this time it wasn’t a song that took me back in time. Instead it was a question that took my back in time, and reminded me of a song from that time.

There are certain places you don’t necessarily expect to field a serious question: while watching football (unless it’s a question about football), lounging on the beach, or at the movies.

But that’s where my son and I had decided to go. It was a Friday night last summer, and like the free-wheeling bachelor that I am, I didn’t have any plans. So my son and decided to check out Antman.

While I was buying a much-needed nutritious snack (translation: popcorn with extra butter and some chocolate balanced with a Coke Zero), I ran into a former student, Cole, who I had gotten to pretty well over the course of the previous semester. I say former because not only was he no longer in any of my classes, he was planning to go to another school in the fall. A bigger school. With the image of being a funner school.

In the theatre, my son and I found a seat, and Cole and his friend sat next to us. We talked some – I say some because my mouth was already pretty busy with the popcorn and all. But I asked Cole if he was excited about starting at a new college in the fall.

No doubt! He was looking forward to the campus and the classes. The football and the fall. The dorms. And a whole new life that awaited him. He was raring to go.

But then, with a big smile on his face, he asked me, “Don’t you think college is the best time in your life.”

You know, I never knew how hard it was to be serious when my fingers were slick with butter.

And I also didn’t know how fast the human mind could work. Because within a second of his question, the images of my time in college (why just go four years when you can go longer) came flooding over me. Great times. Hard times. Late night studying. Late nights not studying . . . followed by tests the next day that I wasn’t ready for. There were good friends and good times. Evenings talking at the campus radio station, hanging around the front porch of the frat house.

There were great frat parties. And study parties.There was the night on the roof of the frat house that ended too soon, and there were night classes that I thought would never end.

And that great feeling of having your life in front of you, and that you can go in any direction that you want. That feeling of total freedom. To go where you want, when you want, and do what you want.

Yeah, I thought, Cole was right. I glanced to my left at him and he was still smiling, waiting for my answer. I was just about to agree with him, when I remembered my son on my right.

What am I doing, I thought. Sure, those are good times. But the best of times? Then I thought about how much fun I had had with my son over the short course of his life. And I thought about so many other great events in my life. And some not so great times, as well.

The birth of my daughter. And later my son. The good times we had together as a family when my wife was still with us. And the good times we’ve had as a family. Spelling bees and baseball games. Watching my son get better and better at soccer and basketball. Seeing my daughter excel at so many things.

Going new places, and meeting new people. The challenges and successes (and sometimes disappointments) that work can bring. And life can bring.

Finding a new burger joint that we love to go to, and finding the my son loves going with me to broadcasts football games. The students that I’ve gotten to know, and I hope helped along the way. There are so many good times that make up our lives.

And that’s what I started to tell Cole. But it’s hard to condense a lifetime of great memories into a short answer. I mean, Twitter only gives you 140 characters, and I’m not sure how many Cole would give me, especially with the movie about to begin.

But my answer was yes, college is a great time in our lives. But don’t let that be the peak. Because every chapter of your life should be good too. Sure, some chapters are better than others. But each one makes up who we are.

It was probably more of an answer than he wanted to hear. But he kept smiling anyway – maybe because he liked my response. Or maybe because the movie was beginning and he wouldn’t have to listen to the ramblings of an old man.

But if he doesn’t believe me, all he has to do is turn on an 80s station and listen to Styx. Because it doesn’t matter when you hear the song, anytime you hear the words come on, it should in fact be “The Best of Times.”

The Way a Dating Profile SHOULD be Written

I recently thought about trying my luck with online dating. If you’re not familiar with online dating, it’s basically technology’s way of taking the horror and humiliation of regular dating and multiplying it by a number that’s larger than my annual salary.online dating 1

So first I need a profile picture. That’s easy enough – there are plenty of pictures online I can “borrow” and claim for my own. (You say I look a lot like George Clooney? Would you believe he’s my cousin?)

The other thing you need is a profile, which is basically you describing yourself – what you like and what you’re like.

But as I was writing my profile, I was suddenly hit with a lightening bolt of a thought (you know, like in the cartoons). Whoa!, I thought, Of course everyone’s profile is going to sound great. I mean, who in their right mind would ever write something bad about themselves.

It was probably the marketer in me that had me thinking about it. But then I thought, why not use a marketing technique when trying to line myself up socially. And there’s not a better technique in marketing than testimonials.

Ahhh yes . . . what better way to win the hearts of the ladies than with testimonials. But who would I use. I couldn’t really afford celebreties. And then it hit me: what better way to have some credibility than by using testimonials from women from my past.

To quote one of the greats from American television: Shaggy from Scooby Doo fame, “Zonkers!” shaggy

This was a winning idea. I decided I would contact all the women I had dated in my life, and get them to provide some (ahem) honest insight into what a (ahem) “great guy” I am. So after searching through storage boxes and old files, I was able to find the contact information for both of them. But then I realized, I would probably need more than just feedback from two women. So I started scouring through old address books and yearbooks, some dating back as far as kindergarten. And after much legwork, I was finally able to cobble together a nice assortment of input from females from my past. To protect everyone’s identity, I’m just using their first initials. And then I changed those, too – you know, just in case.

So without further delay, here are the testimonials for my online dating profile.

First from J:

“You’re asking about Mark? That low-down, good for nothing, SOB!! If I EVER get my hands on him again, I’m going to rip his little – ”

Whoa. Some harsh words there. But to quote the 70s pop group the Osmonds, One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch. So let’s hear now from B

“Oooohhhh. I remember Mark. He was great in bed . . . ”

All right. Now this is more like it!

” . . . I NEVER saw anyone sleep as well as he did.”

Hmmmmm. Ok, not exactly what I was looking for, but at least we’re moving in the right direction. So let’s turn it over to E

“Who? Mark? Mark? Hmmmmmm. That’s not ringing a bell. You sure I went out with him.”

Again, not the most ringing of endorsements. But I still feel like this is a good idea. So let’s hear from W, who lives somewhere in the heartland.

“Sure I remember Mark. Do you know his address? I have a document he REALLY needs to sign. I told him several years ago the test came back positive, and I really need to – ”

Ok. Ok. I admit, maybe this testimonial-from-the-ex-girlfriends is not such a great idea. So my online dating profile is pretty much going to stink. But at least I still have my looks. If you don’t believe me, here’s D to back me up:

“Oh wow. That guy is a hunk. He is soooooo good looking. And he has one of the FINE-est . . . well, you know. Yeah, I’ve never been out with anyone as good looking as Mike.”

Hey, not Mike. I’m Mark.

“Mark? Who’s Mark? Oh wait, is he that scrawny, goofy-lookin’ guy that kept tryin’ to take me out.”

I did take you out! Remember?!!

“Bumping into me on the Funyuns aisle and offering to pay for them isn’t a date.”

Dang. I knew I should have taken her to the chocolate aisle.

What’s the word?

With seemingly endless time on their hands during the summer, kids have time to take on any number of new and exciting endeavors. They can take up a new sport. Or a hobby. Paint, play at the pool, or just relax with a book.

One of the new activities my son has taken up this year is running.

One of the new activities my son has taken up this year is running.

But sometimes all that extra time gives them just a little too much time to think, and all that thinking led to an interesting question from my son.

I was relaxing, a glass of sweet lemonade next to me, the glass cold with drops of condensation slowly eeking their way down the side of the glass. That’s when my son posed this question to me: “Dad, if you had to describe me in just one word, what would it be?”

Hmmmmm. Now there’s a stumper. When I help clients with their markekting, I ask them to tell me what one sentence they would use to describe their business. That’s challenging enough. But just one word? It seems next to impossible to describe someone you love, someone you’ve shared your life with, in just one single word.

I really wasn’t sure how to answer. So I turned the question around. “I’m not sure. What word would you use to describe me?”

Without even pausing my son answered, “hardworking.”

I felt good and bad at the same time. It’s nice that he thinks of me that way, but how was he able to come up with an answer so quickly? And now the pressure was really on. But there were so many words that I could have used to describe him.

Fun. Caring. Inquisitive. Smart. Enthusiastic. Energetic.

And those were just the first words that came to mind. Picking any of the one seemed to ignore so many of his other qualities and characteristics.

Insightful. Giving. Outgoing. Mature. Conservative. Math-enabled (ok. That’s not really a word, but what’s the word for being good at math? See? That’s as close as I could get.)

“Well, dad. What word would you use to describe me?”

I looked at him with so many possibilities bouncing through my mind, but I finally answered him. “There’s only one word that I can use that describes you completely, and that’s ‘Sam’.” I explained to him how his name encompasses all of the wonderful talents and qualities that make up who he is, that make up the person that he is.

Ok, I may have cheated just a smidgen. But it seemed like the only answer that really seemed to work.

If you had to describe yourself or someone you loved in just one word, what would that word be?

 

Happy Father’s Day

Here it is dads, the day we’ve been waiting for. Father’s Day.father's day

On your day to be honored, I hope you’ll remember that’s it’s not this particular date on the calendar that makes today a special one. Instead, it’s the family in our lives that make Father’s Day what it is.

While you’re being honored today, remember what an honor it is for you to be a father. Remember the great responsibility that comes with raising kids, and let the love and joy surround you – not just on this day, but on every day that you’re a dad.

The tragic tale of Billy the Biscuit

(For this blog post, you’ll need to read it with a southern, somewhat jovial accent. Imagine if you were listening to Mark Twain spin a yarn, or that dude who used to narrate “Dukes of Hazzard. Oh, and you’ll need to pretend he’s strumming a banjo a little while he’s talking. You know, for effect and all).

Life as a biscuit is full of strife, excitement, and, all too often, tragedy.

Life as a biscuit is full of strife, excitement, and, all too often, tragedy.

(Banjo gently playing, leads in) It t’ain’t easy growin’ up on the wild frontier. And when yur a’piece a food, everywhere is the frontier.

Such uz the life ov our hero, Billy the Biscuit. That is, if ya kin even call h’m a hero. Ya, see, Billy lived a tragic life. Right frum the start, ol’ Billy had it rough, as we see he’ear in the kit’chun of Sam and his pop.

“I’m hungry. Can you make me some breakfast,” says ol’ Sam. Ya see, ol’ Sam, he wuz a growin’ boy, and he needed his vittles to keep h’m healthy.

“Sure, Sam. What would you like?”

“How about some biscuits today.” And so began our tragic story. Ol’ pop, he eazed on over to the fridge, took out a can of them there pre-formed-up biscuits. No that ain’t the way we used to do things back when I uz a boy, but things is different now. Sadly so.

“Oh no, Sam. Two of these biscuits are stuck together. I’m going to have to pull them apart . . .”

Ohhhhh. I sure does hate that. Ol’ pop, he pulled them two biscuits apart. And ol’ Billy was brought into this world with one of them operations without none of that there anesthesia, or what I like to call No Pain Medicine.

And then while ol’ Billy wus still a’trying to acquaint hisself with this here wurld, he uz shuved in a 400 DEGREE (!!!) OVEN. Now if that don’t wake ya up and make ya call fer yer ma, I don’t know what will.

But as bad as aaaallllll that is, it t’weren’t nearly as sad as what I’m ’bout to tell ya. Ya see, when ol’ Billy and his friends come out’a that box that’s as hot as the hades yer average Sunday-morning evang’list warned ya ’bout, there uz somethin’ even werse that happened.

Ya see, ol’ Billy didn’t look to good. He’d a’been pulled a’part like’n a man who’s heart was torn be’twixt two lady friends. And when Billy come steamin’ out’ta that oven, he looked like the sorriest excuse fer a biscuit that you ever did see!

“Sam, I’m sorry, but I don’t think you want to eat this one.” That wuz the reason’in’ that ol’ pop wouldn’t a’let his yung’un have that one. Cuz ya see, there were better lookin’ biscuits than ol’ Billy. And why eat an ol’ ugly biscuit when ya could’a had’a Sunday-go-ta-meeting biscuit, as my Ma used to say.

And so it was fer ol’ Billy, He didn’t get to git to fulfill his des’iny. While is friends were bein’ eat’un up, he was left, alone, on the pan. And eventually, poor ol’ Billy, he dun ended up in the trash.

Yep, it t’ain’t easy bein’ a piece of food. If you don’t believe me, you kin ask ol’ Billy fer yerself . . . that is, if’in ya kin find ‘im.

But that’s where this here story takes an’erther turn fer the wurst. Cuz ya see, Billy’s family wuz a missin’ ‘im, too. So his cuzin’, Timmy the Toast, set out to find Billy. I wonder whut’s gonna happen to poor, ol’ Timmy . . .

(Banjo slowly fades out in the background as we see Timmy the Toast hop out of the toaster, strap on a little butter, and go out in search of Billy.)

 

 

 

Son ponders what The Future will look like

It started with a question. But then that’s how most things start around our house.

Like Michael J. Fox, I was ready for flying cars (and all the other cool stuff) the future was sure to bring.

Like Michael J. Fox, I was ready for flying cars (and all the other cool stuff) the future was sure to bring.

“Dad, what do you think the world will be like when I’m an adult?”

I was in the midst of “cooking” breakfast (is it really cooking when you just add milk? I’ll have to get my research team on that one). Oh, wow. Now there’s something to think about. The first think that flashed through my mind was a flying car – cool and sleek, a black shiny sports car that I was somehow flying. How cool . . .

But then reality crashed in, taking my precious flying car with it. And I wondered, what would the world be like. What problems and opportunities would my son (along with the rest of the world) face in another 30 or 40 years. What new cool conveniences would be available. I’m kind of a sucker (translation = “geek”) when it comes to technology, so I began to wonder how awesome smart phones and computers would be.

There were so many neat things to think about. Would there be more peace or war in the world? What new jobs would be available. And which ones would be obsolete. And would Inflategate and the New England Patriots still be a top story in sports. In 30 years, would I be cooking breakfast for my grandkids or would my robot be taking care of minor tasks like that?

Ahhhhh. The opportunities seemed wide open. Awe-inspiring. And I couldn’t help but feel a sense of enthusiasm as I stood on the cusp of the future and glanced toward the world that waited ahead.

Then my son added his own dose of reality that brought all those good feelings, like my flying car, crashing down.

“You’ll be pretty old by then.”

Hmmmm. I minor detail. Ok, I hadn’t quite thought of that. Yeah, I guess I will be pretty old by then. But I’m sure that advances in medicine and technology will have a pill or two that will have me feeling feisty well into my 150s. Well, at least my 130s . . .

Ok. Minor detail cleaned up. Starting to feel good again. Until . . .

“That’s only seven years away. You’ll be 58 by then,” my son proclaimed.

Ummmmm. Oh, you mean what will the world be like waaaaaay into the future? Well, why didn’t you say so. I thought you were looking way, WAY ahead, you know like 10 years or something.

Seven years?! Oh. My. Gosh. Well, at least when I only look that far down the road, it doesn’t seem quite so unknown or frightening.

Then I realized my son will be driving in just five years. AAAAAAhhhhh!

Now that’s a scary future that I don’t want to think about. And one more reason to delay the development of the flying cars just a little bit longer.